A few years ago I worked with, Colin, a friend, who was making the transition beyond his primary career.  

A casualty of a down turn in the oil sector Colin found himself at home wondering how to get back on the treadmill.  We looked at his finances and I told him he had a problem, but what I described was not the problem he was expecting.  

Like many, Colin has spent much of his adult life saving for his ‘old age’, but never given much thought as to what that might be.  A well educated baby boomer, Colin’s savings benefited from an economy offering full employment, generous pension schemes and house price inflation. His investment advisor once described his approach to saving as ‘Puritan’ – always denying himself today in the hope of a better tomorrow.

A life-long caravaner, Colin dreamt of all he would do if he had a camper van, but always considered it ‘out of reach’.  After much discussion and a mountain of research we agreed that Colin to use some of his savings to buy the van.  He did, and it opened a door to a raft of new adventures.  In addition to trips away the van became a mobile meeting room for consulting assignments, it enabled him to take work as a film extra and much more.

18 months later his family decided the van just wasn’t big enough for the adventures they were now planning so it had to go.  So, much loved and well looked after, it sold easily – and in doing so returned all bar £500 to Colin’s savings account.

My point – life savings are there for you to enjoy life. Holding them solely in the form of an investment portfolio won’t be the start of any life adventures and doesn’t bring much enjoyment!

Written by John Small

John’s business career started in the technology sector working with ICL and Fujitsu before moving to International Finance where organisational change and development has been a constant theme.