When our curiosity is triggered, we think more deeply and rationally about decisions and come up with solutions that are more creative. In any endeavour, the more curious we are about what we are doing the more likely we are to come up with an ideal solution or way forward.
Curious people always ask questions and search for answers, piecing together complex ideas. This is as true in planning your financial journey as it is in other aspects of learning. Many would argue that learning about the pensions and other ways to save for the future is boring – but such a label can become the enemy of curiosity. Securing your future and that of those you love is in no way “boring”.
Questions are powerful because they empower someone to create real change. Taking an active interest in planning your finances – from ensuring you are up to date with tax exemptions and allowances to planning for retirement – can maximise your income and boost your overall wealth. This is one are that using your innate curiosity really can transform your life.
How much do you really save each year? Where are you spending too much? Am I borrowing money in the most efficient manner? Do you know what your maximum ISA allowances is this year? What about Junior ISAs – or JISAs – for your children or grandchildren? Will this be a tax efficient way to help future generations? How much will good financial planning save from the taxman when my inheritance is eventually distributed to those I love?
You should be confident asking questions – even if you think you are at risk of being seen as lacking knowledge. As the old Chinese proverb goes: “He who asks question remains a fool for five minutes. He who does not ask, remains a fool forever.”
Sometimes, we ask questions simply to start a conversation – it is the endpoint of these conversations that produce a transformative course of action. Never be afraid to ask questions – however basic – as these will add fuel to your curiosity.
The most powerful questions are open-ended – one that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no” response. Open-ended questions are phrased as a statement – and require a longer response which is almost always more enlightening than a simple, closed enquiry.
The more you question, the more your knowledge and understanding grows. This means you are better prepared for the future to delve into your future planning more deeply. Columbia University in the US cited four basic rules of questioning in its journalism course. They are as follows:
- Prepare carefully, familiarizing yourself with as much background as possible.
- Establish a relationship with the source conducive to obtaining information.
- Ask questions that are relevant to the source and that induce the source to talk.
- Listen and watch attentively.
Being curious about the answers to questions such as these will help you best plan your financial journey. But it’s not a question of “deferred gratification” – taking action can also help you feel better right now. Sensible financial planning today can help you feel confident about your future, by giving you the peace of mind that your finances will be robust and secure.
There’s never been a better time to question your financial tomorrow than today.
Nothing on this website should be construed as personal advice based on your circumstances. No news or research item is a personal recommendation to deal.