Financial Life Planning: A Better Way to Set Goals
While many financial planners focus on money, we aim to start with a more fundamental aspect of overall life planning: what your goals, values, and priorities are. Money isn't a goal, it's a tool, and it is often too easy to lose sight of why we're saving and investing money. That Why will drive everything we do as planners. Life planning helps both a planner and a client understand what they are planning for. Through this process, you can help us understand the goals and aspirations in life that provide you with meaning, happiness, and purpose.
- Are you saving to pass on your wealth to family or charity?
- Do you want to put your money to work now in environmentally sustainable funds?
- How much luxury spending are you willing to sacrifice in order to be able to retire early?
All of these questions should be evaluated against your overall priorities, and every person is different. In order to make the best financial plan possible, we have to know what drives you, at the very top level of your life.
How Does the Life Planning Process Work?
There are two aspects to planning: interior and exterior. Traditional financial planning is defined as exterior, because it focuses on external factors such as investments and taxes. Financial life planning, though, starts out with a look into our interior selves - trying to understand our money history, emotions related to finances, and overall views on money. We want to know where you're coming from.
Then, we look at where you're heading. What are your values and priorities in life, and how do these shape your goals? If we know the why behind your money decisions, we can give you better advice on how to reach your ultimate goals.
Maybe you're just starting out in your career, and you have no idea what you're saving for. Maybe you have a spending problem that is getting in the way of your true priorities. Maybe you already have well-defined goals, but you just need to tweak your financial plan to make sure you meet them. Wherever you are on your journey, we will meet you there. Here are some of the tools we use to help clarify your goals and progress:
George Kinder's 3 Questions - How would you change the way you live in three different scenarios?
The Money Egg Exercise - What are your memories around money?
The Klontz Money Scripts Survey - What unconscious beliefs influence the way you think about money?
It's hard to give financial advice to someone without knowing their deepest values. You wouldn't invest without an investment plan, but many financial planners don't have a good idea of what their clients actually value. Do they actually want to live in a million dollar home, or would they be happier spending their money on travel? How much do they want to give to charity, or would they rather support their family members?
With all this in mind, your financial plan is a bridge from where you are to where you want to be - your life purpose and well-being. Every decision is evaluated against your ideal life and how best to get there. Because our goal is always to get you to live you best life possible with the money you have.