Financial planning and well-being: Relationship with money

HAVE you ever wondered if money were a person, what kind of relationship would you have with this ‘person’?   

Will this be a person who gives you a lot of stress each time you think about him or one with whom you enjoy having a quality and mutually beneficial relationship?

Essentially, for us to thrive in our lives, we have to do well in many areas – not just with money. This can include areas such as careers, physical health, relationships, etc. Of course, financial wellbeing will be one key area as after all, most ‘departments’ in our lives are interrelated.

Hence, for one to have a life that is worth living and a satisfaction level that is at its optimal point, we have to ensure our level of wellbeing is in a good place.   

There are studies and research that show how money alone will not help a person stay happy. And a more common approach or mindset people tend to have towards money is to focus on increasing their income or increasing the pace at which their savings or wealth can grow.

Sometimes people are met with more unfortunate experiences, such as losing their money, and having to sacrifice a great deal of other things that are crucial to their overall wellbeing, such as time with important people in their life, and poorer physical health.    

When we shift our focal point to our financial wellbeing, we will be able to think more about how we can use our money to help improve our quality of life. 

Kevin Neoh

 For us to thrive in our financial wellbeing, these five key pillars have to be well taken care of. 

  • Clear path to achieve identifiable objectives. 
  • Control over daily finances. 
  • Ability to cope with financial shocks. 
  • Having financial options in life. 
  • Clarity and security for those we leave behind. 

Perhaps a key question to ask is whether financial planning can help us boost our financial well-being.

My answer is yes. Financial planning can absolutely boost our financial wellbeing.   

The financial planning process helps us identify our current financial health.    

A good financial planner will have worked with clients to identify their future plans and life aspirations, then based on the resources they have today, outline possible routes and checkpoints so that they can make meaningful progress from their present circumstances towards their ideal position. 

One of the essential steps is to shore up our ability to cope with financial shocks. When we add lifetime cashflow modelling to the financial planning conversation and process, clients will see how their decisions today can shape their future lives. All these will inadvertently boost the level of clarity for the client.   

Last but not least, having a written financial plan that is regularly reviewed and updated will provide a lot more accountability and keep the client engaged in doing what is best for them.    

When we engage in the financial life planning process, we will be able to put our lives at the centre and plan how our money can support us in living the life we want.   

This will help you use your savings to support your needs for physical wellbeing, relationship wellbeing, and career wellbeing, which will enable you to live a life that is truly yours. – June 11, 2023


Kevin Neoh is a CFP professional and a certified member from Financial Planning Association Malaysia, he is also a Financial Life Coach.    

The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Focus Malaysia.

Main photo credit: Meaningful Paths

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