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Are you flatlining?

It’s happened, the first double-dip recession since 1975.

Not only did the economy shrink 0.2% in the first quarter of the year, following a 0.3% contraction in the last quarter of 2011, the economy is now smaller than it was when the Coalition took power.

Many people base their plans for the future on what happened in the past. But, it could be that the next 10, 20 or 30 years will be very different in terms of house prices and investment returns.

If as I suspect we will see more modest investment returns (5% rather than 7%) then it could be need a significant tweak to our personal financial planning.

A 2% fall in investment returns is approximately a 30% fall. So, that means some people will need to put an extra 30% into savings to get the same end result.

As far as I know, that can be done by saving more, working harder and/or working longer.

If you work a five day week based on 35 hours, that means starting an hour earlier and finishing an hour later for the rest of your working life. Or, it could mean working an extra 10 years or cutting the annual holidays – how do you feel about that?

That’s not an option for me or my clients, if I can help it (which I can). Our new service called On-Track uses a business development process called Improving the Numbers. This is designed for small businesses and helps them build more business value and/or higher profits.

The first thing to do is to work out how much money you need for the rest of your life. I call this your life number. Next, estimate what you will get without any changes and see if there is a gap. If there is then can start to consider what you can do in your business now to fill the gap for tomorrow.

It could be fairly simple, a few tweaks to prices or step up your marketing maybe enough. Or, it could be a more radical change is required. Now is a good time to step back and look again at the future.

Use our online review to see if you need to take any action.