“Oh, the places you’ll go!” – What could Dr Seuss teach you about financial planning?

A little girl in a yellow dress reads a picture book on her bed.

Dr Seuss’s stories might be some of the most recognisable children’s books of all time. People from around the world have been falling in love with his distinctive rhyming style, kind and supportive messages, and eye-catching illustrations for more than 70 years.

Though his tales are designed primarily to teach children key lessons about life, they can also be thought-provoking for adults. Indeed, some of his books hold helpful lessons about financial planning.

This month, on what would have been his 120th birthday, discover what the great Dr Seuss could teach you about financial planning.

1. Your financial plan doesn’t need to be complex to be effective

Green Eggs and Ham is perhaps one of Dr Seuss’s most famous works, but did you know that it was written as part of a bet that the author had with his publisher?

Dr Seuss wrote the book to prove that he could write a story using no more than 50 words. In fact, he went one step further and wrote Green Eggs and Ham using less than 50 words, only one of which had more than one syllable: that word was “anywhere”.

It goes to show that, sometimes, less is more, and the same is often true for your financial plan.

When you work with your planner, they’ll help you to identify the key long-term goals that you’d like to achieve. Then, following tried and tested methods, they can help you to align your plan with these goals.

So, instead of chopping and changing your strategies based on new trends or hypes, you can simply follow the investing principles that have proved reliable over the past 100 years or more.

2. Remember that life is made up of both highs and lows

In his final published work, Dr Seuss explores the fact that good times and bad will inevitably affect us all. Oh, the Places You’ll Go teaches readers how to embrace the range of experiences they’ll encounter, and to look upon life as a great adventure that they are in control of.

It’s an outlook that is reflected clearly in financial planning. Having optimism about the future usually makes good financial sense, since even during periods of market uncertainty, historical data tells us that markets usually recover.

But that doesn’t mean to say that you don’t need to consider risk. By accepting that, sometimes, bad things will happen to you, you can create a plan that mitigates the impact of any potential challenges, such as being unable to work for an extended period of time due to illness or injury.

By hoping for the best yet planning for the worst, you can protect your finances while also enjoying the best that life has to offer.

3. Your only limit in life is your imagination

There’s no doubt that the imaginative worlds, creatures, and characters that Dr Seuss dreamed up are what make his books so enduringly popular.

Indeed, his stories frequently celebrate creativity, encouraging readers to let their imagination run wild in the process of learning and creating a life that they love. His popular story If I Ran the Zoo is a great example, as main character Gerald McGrew imagines a whimsical zoo filled with colourful creatures including a “nerd”, a “preep”, and a “proo”.

As children, it’s easy to imagine all sorts of weird and wonderful things, but as we grow up, we sometimes stop dreaming in pursuit of more practical endeavours. When it comes to building your financial plan, though, sometimes a little bit of childlike imagination is just what is needed.

You could think of your financial plan as a treasure map, guiding you through the steps you need to take to achieve your dream life.

Of course, in order to start your plan, you need to have a good understanding of what your dream life looks like so that you have a destination to aim for. To discover this, it can help to spend some time daydreaming about what you’d like to achieve in your life – what would make you feel fulfilled, contented, and happy?

This might include goals to improve your lifestyle right now, or it might be about planning your perfect retirement, or anything in between.

So, just for a little while, forget about what a traditional retirement might look like and think about what you’d like life to look like if you “ran the zoo”.

Get in touch

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you to build a financial plan that helps you to achieve your dream lifestyle, please get in touch. Our friendly team of advisers in Lewes will be delighted to assist you.

Please contact us by email at financial@barwells-wealth.co.uk or by phone on 01273 086 311.

Please note

This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

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