Parenthood changes everything.

The moment you hear that first gasping breath, see that scrunched little nose, hold those tiny fat fingers, nothing is ever the same again.

Your goals change.

Your priorities change.

You suddenly find yourself questioning things you were previously completely sure about.

Suddenly, your perfectly laid plans seem less perfect.

I recently had clients come to me after the birth of their first child. Her and her wife were over the moon. This baby was their most ardent wish come true, the thing they had longed for more than anything. In fact, in their very first meeting with me they discussed this baby - before she was even a glimmer in anyone’s eye!

When we made their financial plan, we factored in this hypothetical baby. Both women adore their careers and planned to split the traditional 50-week parental leave and then return to work. Their goals were based on that plan.

But when their beautiful baby girl was actually born, suddenly the idea of returning to work after 50 weeks seemed impossibly hard.

Suddenly their perfectly laid plans seemed less perfect.

And that is exactly why a financial plan shouldn’t be static. Goals change. Priorities shift. Life is not linear!

So rather than assume that they had to stick to their original plan or risk not achieving their other goals, these women came to me to work out what their options were.

Would it be possible for one of them to stay home with their daughter past the traditional 50 week parental leave? What effect would that have on their other goals: purchasing an income property, renovating their kitchen, saving for their daughter’s education, retirement?

We did an analysis of a multitude of scenarios. Since neither of them had a pension, they were especially concerned to see how an extended leave might affect their retirement goals.

Seeing the results of those scenarios laid out clearly, they were able to decide on their next steps without any anxiety.

Yes, one of them could stay home with their daughter.

The excitement on both of their faces when they realized this was beautiful.

Based on the analysis, they decided that one of them could stay home with their daughter until she was 2, and then return to the workforce. The analysis clearly showed them exactly how their budget and cashflow would be affected, and how they would still be on track to reach their retirement goals.

There was no uncertainty or guilt about this decision. Just joy.

Your financial plan should not be a limiting factor in your life.

Your financial plan should give you freedom. Freedom to make life choices, and freedom to change them.

If you are considering new goals, or contemplating new priorities – a new business, new baby, new dream travel destination – schedule a quick call to see how we can create or tweak a financial plan to help you along this new path!