When clients first begin working with us, they are surprised by how our planning process starts. We don’t begin by talking about IRAs, 401(k)s, or how much you’re saving. Instead, we begin by talking about you, not your money.
Understand your life plan before your financial plan.
As Life Planners, our process begins with understanding your life plan. We start by asking you about your family, your work, your home, your goals, and the things you value the most. Our job is to build a financial plan that will help you make your life plan a reality.
Building wealth that will provide for your family and keep you comfortable today and in retirement is a part of that plan. Monitoring your investments and assets is only one part of your plan, and we believe maximizing your life goals is just as important, if not more so.
People who view money as an end in and of itself never feel like they have enough money. People who learn to view money as a tool start to see a whole new world of possibilities open in front of them.
Use your life plan to provide a sense of freedom and well-being.
Establishing financial well-being gives you the freedom of choice to do what you want, have what you want, go anywhere you want, and be anyone you want. If you don’t feel locked into chasing after the next dollar, you’ll start exploring what more you can get out of life than just more money.
Feeling free to use your money in ways that fulfill you is going to become extremely important once you retire. After all, you’re going to have to do something with the 40 hours every week you used to spend working! During retirement, you’ll also have to allow yourself to stop focusing on saving and start enjoying the life that your assets can provide.
Having money and building wealth is a part of the plan. But it’s not THE plan in and of itself. You’ll be better off, in the long run, the earlier you start thinking about how you can use your money to balance your vocation with vacation.
Achieving that kind of freedom with your money isn’t just going to help you sleep soundly at night; it’s going to make you feel excited to get out of bed the next morning.
Plan for what is coming next.
You may be asking, “When does the planning process end?” If you’re like most of the people we work with, never. Your plan changes and grows with you as you move from one stage of life to the next and prepare for the unique challenges associated with it.
Life planning isn’t about hitting some number with your savings, investments, and assets. We’re much more concerned about how your life is going than how the markets are performing.
Some life transitions we’ll be able to anticipate, like a child going to college, a big family vacation you’ve been planning, and the actual date of your retirement. For other transitions, like a sudden illness or a big out-of-state move for work, we can help you adjust for as necessary.
In some cases, your life plan might change simply because you want something different out of life. You might start contemplating a career change. You might decide home doesn’t feel like home anymore and start looking for a new house. You might lose yourself in a new hobby and decide to invest some time and money in perfecting it. You might decide it’s time to be your own boss and start a brand new company.
Life planning encompasses so much more than spending and saving money — it’s about making sure you’re not only taken care of now but in the future. Planning for and reacting to moments where your life and your money intersect is what we do best. Decide today to find out how life planning can help you get the best life possible with the money you have.