This couple appear to have mastered perhaps the greatest 'secret' of financial planning, living within your means.

It's all too easy to get caught in the 'rat race', buying stuff (clothes, cars and even houses) not because you really need them, or even want them, but because everyone else is.

Keeping up with the Jones is probably the biggest threat to your chance of achieving financial security.

It's fairly simple when you think about it. Every pound you don't spend is another pound you can save. But it's even better than that, as every pound you don't spend each year is another pound you don't need to generate when you retire.

Think about it this way: 

If you're earning £5,000 a month and spending that £5,000 then you're saving nothing BUT you need £5,000 a month when you retire to maintain your current standard of living. Unless you inherit money then this is clearly doomed to disaster.

However, if you're earning £5,000 a month and spending only £3,000 then you're saving £2,000 a month and only need £3,000 a month when you retire. You've cut your income requirement by 40% and increased your saving by £2,000 a month. This is clearly a much better financial position.

I'm not saying that you have to go without everything. But it's important to really think about what you're spending and why you're spending it?

Some of our best clients live what is, compared to their income or wealth, a relatively modest lifetime. However it is this modesty that enables to be able to do the things that are most important to them.

For some it's retiring early and travelling the world. 

For other's it's about being able to pack in that high stress job and take it easy. 

Perhap's you'd like to help your children, or help care for your parents or grandchildren?

Whatever your life goals are, take a moment to ensure that you're doing everything you can to live your life, not your neighbour's.

Remember, that working with a professional financial planner such as Rowley Turton can make achieving your goals that much easier.

If you don't already have a financial planner or adviser, find an advisers sites such as www.vouchedfor.co.uk and www.unbiased.co.uk are a great place to start.