How to Get Freedom – Real Financial Independence

Retirement is going out of fashion

“Retirement” is becoming an outdated notion … “old technology” so to speak.

Not because it is common place and everyone is doing it (the opposite is the unfortunate reality) but rather, times are changing.

Whilst there are still many people who “retire” in the strictest sense of the word, increasingly, people are working longer and living longer.

  • Some work longer because they like to keep active and are happy to keep working (although truth be told, they would like more choice about it).
  • Some work longer because they love what they do and don’t ever want to stop.
  • Others work longer because they have no option – they need the money to survive.

What about you?

What does it look like for you, when you get “there”?

This is important because most people have unrealistic and simplistic views. In other words, they don’t think big enough and they are underestimating what they’ll need.

Others resign themselves to the fact that “whatever will be, will be”, as it were. If they don’t have enough then they’ll just live with it. They give up!

While a few have their financial independence in hand, many live in denial and convince themselves based on simplistic math and fraught rationale that they will be OK.

Others still, claim with some authority that they don’t want to be “rich” (how crass!!). They just want to be financially secure (although just how and when that will be achieved is unclear).

The clock is ticking …

Better to step back now (don’t put it off or delay it) and think carefully about what you would like. That, we believe, is the starting point.

TIP: Those who are financially independent, truly free, or on the way; don’t always know at the start: how they will get there, where to start and they don’t wait for everything to be perfect, to be ready. They get on and get help if they need it. They go after it …

It costs nothing to get started or fine tune things

Painting a clear picture and explicitly outlining, in writing, how life looks, where you will be, with whom and what you will be doing along with, perhaps more importantly, what you will indeed be retiring from is an excellent place to start.

It is difficult to start too early. It’s time – NOW
If you haven’t really thought about it, it’s time – seriously.

If you are on your way already let’s see if we can sharpen things up – help get you there sooner.

Thinking about it starts with outlining what you want.
We advise that you think big (not small). That’s because you may need more money than you think.

Anyway, why not go after what you truly want?

How much money will you need?
At WISEplanning, we have a system for working it out.

What’s useful about it is that it allows you to step back with better perspective, consider some items that may have been excluded from your thinking and to get a more reliable picture.

This is important because if we underestimate it, it’s quite difficult to go back and fix things up later. Pretty much, we get one chance to get this right.

Although everyone is different, in our experience, if you believe that $1million (that is excluding the home you live in) is sufficient, there is a good chance that you will underfund your “retirement.” At the risk of sounding dramatic, that’s a big risk right there.

Consider these two factors …
Retirement, financial independence, financial freedom or whatever you would like to call it, will require funding by you.

Whether or not you rely on the Government pension is a choice and one that does bear some thinking about.

We suggest caution about relying on future Governments to determine how much money you will receive throughout those years of independence, that we all look forward to.

Two things:

  • People are living longer. That’s just a fact. For example, our analysis is based on our clients living at least until age 100. Have you thought about what your “beam-up date” so to speak might be?
  • There is a real explosion in health sciences, which simply means that the technology to keep us alive, functioning well, comfortable and healthy is increasing exponentially.
    • The reality is that future Governments will likely not provide you and I with the new technology that emerges every day. To be clear, you may need additional money to buy that technology yourself.
    • For many years, WISEplanning has recommended that our clients allow 30% of their total assets for long term health care beyond aged 70. This may sound like a lot of money, however, health care and particularly new technology can be very expensive.

Financial independence is not just about how much you allocate to food and groceries every week. Obviously, there are many other expenses and lifestyle choices that should be considered.

Understanding your requirements early means that you have a better chance of positioning for them – most or all of them. Not some or none.

How to engineer enough money to be financially independent

We can narrow this down to three simple steps:

  1. Mindset Alignment. The reality is that your mindset is a function of a lifetime of your conditioning, what you believe to be true, your ideas, your attitudes, habits and therefore, your behaviour. Aligning your behaviour with your big picture, big ticket goals is the key to getting enough money.“Mindset trumps education and intelligence.” – Peter Flannery
  2. Learn how to make money work for you. Investing is not complicated – once you know how. Learn how to become an unassuming, quiet millionaire.

Click here to learn more.

To achieve real financial independence, it’s just a matter of working out what you want.

Then, learn how to invest (we can help you with that) so that you can make money work for you so that you have enough money for everything.

Financial independence is a choice – not something only available to the chosen few.

Either you select financial self-reliance and freedom or by default you get financial dependence and everlasting money anxiety.

Your call …

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Peter Flannery - WISEplanning - Authorised Financial Adviser and Certified Financial Planner - New Zealand

Peter Flannery

“Helping everyday Kiwis who expect more … to live their lives the way they want”


Peter was raised on the family farm in Kamahi, near Edendale in Southland. He is an investor, business owner and a first generation financial advisor, having entered financial services in 1983 in Southland.


Peter now lives in Christchurch with his family. His hobbies include family time, spending time with friends, exercise, reading a good novel and time on the deck at the bach.


Peter founded WISEplanning in 1987. His 500 clients live across New Zealand and a few overseas. The ongoing expansion of WISEplanning now includes offices in Invercargill, Christchurch (HQ) and Auckland.


Peter is known among his clients for challenging common practice and conventional methodology.


He argues “People tend to follow the crowd, which is interesting, because most people are both time poor and money poor, so why follow them?”


He is known to many around New Zealand as one of few to warn in 2004 of the coming global financial crisis (The GFC) that suddenly erupted in 2008. His views were considered controversial at the time. Peter credits Warren Buffett and his partner Charlie Munger for his most useful learning’s about investing.


Peter believes education continues throughout life. Some highlights from his recent continuing education include:


• The formal Financial Adviser training through Massey University in Palmerston North,


• The Entrepreneurial Coaching program through The Strategic Coach in Vancouver, Canada,


• The Business Owner/Manager Program through The Icehouse in New Zealand,


• The Peak Performance Program through Glazer Kennedy, Baltimore, USA


• The High Performance Program through The Elite Professionals Program in New Zealand


• The Experts Academy through Brendon Burchard, Sydney, Australia


• The Millionaire Mentor Program through Scott Harris, The Gold Coast, Australia.


As an investor, he is regularly researching markets and analysing potential investment opportunities and likes to point out to anyone who will listen that discipline around the investment method is key to success.


Peter has developed programs and tools that help everyday kiwis who expect more out of life to succeed sooner.

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Miriam Woon

Miriam has been with the WISEplanning team for a few years, bringing with her enthusiasm and extensive customer service skills to the role.


She emigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands and spent her teenage years in the Bay of Plenty before moving to Auckland to begin her studies in Travel and Tourism. Employment in the Tourism industry eventually led Miriam to start her “8 year OE”. Whilst managing ski chalets in the French Alps, she met her future husband. They moved to Cardiff for a few years before moving to Canterbury in 2008, and now works remotely from Nelson.


Miriam is the Operations Manager for WISEplanning’s clients. Her passion has always been to work closely with individuals to help them improve their work and life skills.


Miriam enjoys spending time with her two sons, husband, family and friends. She has a passion for running, skiing, photography, exercise, reading and really enjoys dealing with people.

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Sean Yang

Sean is the Portfolio Coordinator for Clients at WISEplanning and brings his enthusiasm, professionalism and well developed customer service skills to the role. Sean was born in Beijing, China and obtained his Bachelor Degree in Economics (majored in Statistics) in China and Graduated Diploma in Accounting and Finance at University of Canterbury.


Sean has worked in the finance sector specialising in Investment Advisory for more than 10 years. He is experienced in dealing with clients’ queries and providing support to Financial Advisors.


He is an organised person with a strong customer focus. Sean enjoys spending time with his two daughters, wife, family and friends. He has a passion for sports such as soccer, badminton and swimming and really enjoys dealing with people.

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Theo Zbijowski

Theo Zbijowski is the Financial Paraplanner at WISEplanning who brings his friendly and enthusiastic attitude to the role.

Theo graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance in 2016.

He is a conscientious person who maintains a strong work ethic as well as a professional attitude. Theo enjoys spending his time playing sports such as squash, tennis and table tennis; while also enjoying the company of his friends and family.

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Kim MacKenzie

Kim has been with WISEplanning since mid 2016 and is our Client Services Specialist. She brings enthusiasm for customer service, professionalism, good time management and efficiencies to the role.


Kim and her husband have been based in Christchurch for over 20 years and originated from Central Otago where they both grew up. They have three teenagers so Kim know’s first hand how busy managing life, money, kids and family can be.


Kim enjoy’s spending time with family and friends, should do more exercise than she does and recently brought a bach where her family and friends are now creating time spent memories that she hopes will carry her kids through to adulthood.

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