I’m a Registered Life Planner®: Diana Yáñez and Elliott Appel

Kinder Institute of Life Planning’s Money and Meaning Blog presents the “I’m a Registered Life Planner®” series. Host Lora Woodward, Communications Director of Kinder Institute, chats with Diana Yáñez, MA, CFP®, RLP®, Founder and Financial Empowerment Coach of All the Colors based in Mexico and Elliott Appel, CFP®, CLU®, RLP®, Financial Planner and Founder of Kindness Financial Planning, LLC. Diana and Elliott are two of over 580 professionals globally that have earned the prestigious Registered Life Planner® (RLP®) designation.

Chapters

00:00 Welcomes, Introduction

00:45 How Diana and Elliott came to be financial planners

02:56 How Elliott found his niche serving widows and women undergoing big life changes

03:36 Why Diana felt called to found All the Colors and its mission

4:55 What financial life planning means to Elliot and Diana

06:38 How being an RLP® has helped them differentiate themselves from other financial planners

09:08 How Diana and Elliot’s relationship has continued beyond their first meeting at an EVOKE® Life Planning training

14:12 What advice they would give to a new Life Planner just starting down this path

16:10 How advisors going through our programs might practice their life planning skills if they don’t have the freedom to do so at their current position.

18:45 The importance (and significance) of silence

19:20 Closing


Diana G. Yáñez, CFP®, RLP® (she/her) is a financial empowerment coach. At All the Colors, Diana facilitates group coaching to help individuals underserved by the financial services industry build confidence in their money decisions. Beyond financial literacy, All the Colors focuses on financial capability to support participants as they implement decisions to reach their financial and life goals. By providing this service in a group setting participants get to learn from other’s experience in a supportive environment. Before founding All the Colors, Diana worked as a financial planner, business analyst, demographer, and in social work. She is an active member of her Quaker meeting and enjoys traveling, reading, and dancing bachata.

Elliott Appel, CFP®, CLU®, RLP®, is a Financial Planner and Founder of Kindness Financial Planning, LLC, a fee-only financial planning firm located in Madison, WI that works virtually with people across the country. Kindness Financial Planning is focused on helping widows, caregivers, and people affected by major health events organize and simplify their financial lives. Elliott offers proactive tax planning, insurance guidance, investment advice, and ensures estate planning is coordinated with the financial independence plan. He is passionate about helping people discover what their ideal life looks like and making sure their money aligns with it.

Kinder Institute of Life Planning, is a training company that provides workshops, experiential trainings, and consulting services to financial advisors and professionals worldwide. Thousands of advisors and financial coaches have trained with Kinder Institute on client-centered life planning methodologies since it began in 2003. Advisors that complete the entire course of study including The Seven Stages of Money Maturity® 2-Day Training, the EVOKE® Life Planning Training, and a subsequent 6-month mentorship program earn the designation of Registered Life Planner® (RLP®), which signifies that they have become life planning experts. To learn more about life planning, trainings offered by Kinder Institute of Life Planning, or to find a Registered Life Planner®, visit www.kinderinstitute.com.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on I’m a Registered Life Planner®: Diana Yáñez and Elliott Appel

I’m a Registered Life Planner®: Hugoline van Hoorn, RLP®

This month’s episode of the I’m a Registered Life Planner® series features Registered Life Planner® Hugoline van Hoorn. Kinder Institute Communications Director and webinar host Lora Woodward interviews Hugoline about how Life Planning has impacted her life, both personally and professionally.

Hugoline is one of over 500 professionals globally who have earned the prestigious Registered Life Planner® (RLP®) designation.

Chapters:

00:00 Welcome, Introductions

00:58 What it means to Hugoline to be a Registered Life Planner® three years after earning her designation.

01:45 How Hugoline describes Life Planning to her clients.

04:35 Why Hugoline still offers financial services without Life Planning as an option for those that ask for it.

05:10 How Hugoline first was drawn to Life Planning and why she decided to take the EVOKE® course four years ago

08:10 How the client interactions and relationships were different for Hugoline after she became a Registered Life Planner®

10:53 A client success story

15:02 What’s next in Hugoline’s Life Plan

20:02 Closing


Hugoline van Hoorn, RLP® founded Huug! Financial Life Planning in 2018 after 20 years as a banker. Prior to a career in finance, Hugoline spent 10 years as a professional squash player. She is 52 years old and lives in Eindhoven with her wife and dog. After earning the Registered Life Planner® designation, she discovered there were no job offers for Financial Life Planners so she started her own practice and called it Huug! (short for Hugoline). This turned out to be the best decision because it facilitated living her Life Plan to the fullest, balancing all things/persons important and meaningful to her! Hugoline loves helping her clients on their journey: starting with guiding them through the Life Planning Process and witnessing how they (re)discover their ideal life, then combining their ideal life with their numbers, resulting in a complete plan for them. She says, “That’s a great start of a life-long collaboration. The power of Life Planning and the results of a trajectory still give me goosebumps every time I help people through Financial Life Planning!”

Kinder Institute of Life Planning is a training company that provides workshops, experiential trainings, and consulting services to financial advisors and professionals worldwide. Thousands of advisors and financial coaches have trained with the Kinder Institute on client-centered life planning methodologies since it began in 2003. Advisors that complete the entire course of study including The Seven Stages of Money Maturity® 2-Day Training, the EVOKE® Life Planning Training, and a subsequent 6-month mentorship program earn the designation of Registered Life Planner® (RLP®), which signifies that they have become life planning experts. To learn more about life planning, trainings offered by Kinder Institute of Life Planning, or to find an RLP®, visit www.kinderinstitute.com.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on I’m a Registered Life Planner®: Hugoline van Hoorn, RLP®

I’m a Registered Life Planner: George Kinder

In this episode of Kinder Institute of Life Planning’s “I’m a Registered Life Planner®” series, host Lora Woodward chats with George Kinder, Founder and President of Kinder Institute of Life Planning! George Kinder shares his thoughts on creating and living your life plan, including some very exciting news that is the latest part of his own!

George is one of over 550 professionals globally that have earned the prestigious Registered Life Planner® (RLP®) designation. #RegisteredLifePlanner

See below for a timestamped overview of their conversation!

Chapters:

00:45 How George Kinder’s new book can be a model for Life Planners living their own Life Plan

03:00 The details of George’s Third Question and how it ties to the creation of this book, that has been 30 years in the making

03:50 How the Kinder Institute of Life Planning and its trainers have been instrumental in helping George dedicate his time to this project

06:30 How this book can be a guide to living in the present moment and in nature

08:02 His plans for the next books

08:07 George’s advice to living your life plan, and living a life of freedom

13:20 The advantages clients experience when their Life Planners have been life planned themselves

14:50 Why Registered Life Planners are the most trustworthy advisors

19:20 George’s advice to committing to live your life plan

21:18 What is next in George’s life plan

Find out more about George Kinder’s new book of photography and poetry, Reflections on Spectacle Pond: the Weekly Edition here. Make sure to sign up to receive it for free by email, one week at a time!


Internationally recognized as the father of the Life Planning movement, Harvard-educated George Kinder revolutionized financial advice for over 30 years by training thousands of professionals in 30 countries in the field of financial Life Planning. After 30 years as a practicing tax adviser and financial planner, he founded Kinder Institute of Life Planning, delivering experiential training programs for professionals that help clients identify their most profound dreams of freedom and then use financial skills to deliver it. You can find Registered Life Planners through the company’s Life Planner Search. George is the author of seven books, including three books on money, The Seven Stages of Money Maturity, Lighting the Torch, and Life Planning for You; a book on mindfulness, Transforming Suffering into Wisdom; two books of poetry and photography, including his latest project, Reflections on Spectacle Pond; and his recently acclaimed, A Golden Civilization & The Map of Mindfulness. Kinder was the first winner of the Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning Award which recognizes “individuals who demonstrate commitment and passion in doing extraordinary work to contribute or give back to the financial planning community and/or the public.” He has been named “One of the 35 most influential people in financial services,” “One of the top Icons & Innovators in the financial planning industry,” “the first of 15 transformational advisors whose vision most changed the industry,” and has been inducted into the Financial Planning Magazine Hall of Fame.

Kinder Institute of Life Planning is a training company that provides workshops, experiential trainings, and consulting services to financial advisors and professionals worldwide. Thousands of advisors and financial coaches have trained with the Kinder Institute on client-centered life planning methodologies since it began in 2003. Advisors that complete the entire course of study including The Seven Stages of Money Maturity® 2-Day Training, the EVOKE® Life Planning Training, and a subsequent 6-month mentorship program earn the designation of Registered Life Planner® (RLP®), which signifies that they have become life planning experts. To learn more about life planning, trainings offered by Kinder Institute of Life Planning , or to find an RLP®, visit http://www.kinderinstitute.com.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Life planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on I’m a Registered Life Planner: George Kinder

I’m A Registered Life Planner®: Jos Drees

Meet Registered Life Planner® Joss Drees. Jos is one of over 500 professionals globally that have earned the prestigious Registered Life Planner® (RLP®) designation from the Kinder Institute of Life Planning. In this episode of Kinder Institute’s “I’m a Registered Life Planner®” series, Jos Drees of Life Planning firm Drees Life Services shares what it is like to be an RLP®.

Jos Drees was the first Registered Life Planner® in Belgium, and actually was present at the first EVOKE® Life Planning training held in the UK back in 2008. In his interview, Jos shares how he got into Life Planning and why he was so attracted to the skills George was teaching back when he was considering the second half of his career.

In his conversation with Kinder Institute’s Communications Director, Lora Woodward, Jos discusses a variety of topics, including how Life Planning is different than traditional financial advice and why he loves taking the most Life Planning Mastery (and Mastery Shorts) out of anyone in the world! Stay until the end to hear what is next in his Life Planning journey. See below for a timestamped overview of their conversation.

Chapters:

00:40 What Jos remembers about attending the first UK EVOKE training back in 2008.

01:42 How Jos, who is based in Belgium, found out about Kinder Institute’s trainings

04:40 How Kinder Institute’s training differs from other courses that he has taken as a financial professional

05:18 Jos’s description of what Life Planning is about

07:03 Jos became the first Registered Life Planner® in Belgium. How this second half of his professional career is more fitting for what he was looking for at the time

09:22: A client success story

13:07 How financial life planning is different than financial advise (and sales)

17:12 The importance of listening in client relationships

19:17 Why Jos takes the most Kinder Institute continuing education out of an RLP® in the world

25:05 What’s next in Jos’s personal life plan

Jos Drees, RLP® started his career in the financial industry in 1986 in Belgium (EU). After 22 years of successfully selling financial products, he felt he was missing out on the real thing: helping people live the life they always wanted to live and use the financial products as a means, not as an end. As founder of Drees Life Services he loves using the Kinder Institute of Life Planning‘s EVOKE® process, while guiding his clients towards their goals and aspirations. Yearly client compass-meetings look at his clients lives. Financial returns are looked at briefly as all of his clients know that the markets do what they’ll do and Drees Life Services helps them to get the most out of it. There’s no need for action or reaction every time some hot topic is in the media. Jos’s clients feel comfortable with their goals in mind and living their planned life. Jos has been married for 26 years and has one son that will be joining the team at Drees Life Services next year. Jos serves as member of a local board of financial professionals in Belgium, specialized in Life Insurance and Financial Planning, and he blogs on these two subjects twice a month. Jos is an appreciated volunteer with the MIT Agelab and helps with research on retirement and longevity planning as a PLAN (Preparing for Longevity Advisory Network) member. He loves hanging out in nature and going on walks with his whippet, friends, and family. Traveling, fine food, and selected wines are also high on his own description of an ideal life.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Life planning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on I’m A Registered Life Planner®: Jos Drees

I’m a Registered Life Planner®: Sarah Byrd

Meet Registered Life Planner® Sarah Byrd. Sarah is one of over 500 professionals globally that have earned the prestigious Registered Life Planner® (RLP®) designation from the Kinder Institute of Life Planning. In this episode of Kinder Institute’s “I’m a Registered Life Planner®” series, Sarah Byrd of Life Planning firm Alpha Advisors shares what it is like to be an RLP®.

Alpha Advisors was one of the first financial life planning firms that used our Life Planning curriculum as a blueprint for their team-led business. In her interview, Sarah talks about how she was able to draw on her colleagues’ experience as they were setting up the Life Planning side of the business and even now as they learn more through continuing education programs.

In her conversation with Kinder Institute’s Communications Director, Lora Woodward, Sarah discusses a variety of topics, including what originally attracted her to our training programs and how they have influenced the way Alpha Advisors interacts with their clients. She shares the personal impact that Life Planning has had on her own life and what is next in her Life Planning journey. See below for a timestamped overview of their conversation.

Chapters:

00:33 Sarah’s background and journey to the financial life planning space

01:33 How Alpha Advisors became a Life Planning firm and how they fit the Kinder Institute curriculum into their team structure

03:09 What Life Planning means to Sarah and how that has impacted her interactions with clients

04:02 What about Kinder Institute’s curriculum spoke to Sarah

04:59 How Sarah uses EVOKE® with her clients to take them through the Life Planning process and how it’s important to customize this process for every client

07:26 How being Life Planned in the EVOKE® Life Planning Training impacted Sarah’s personal life, and still has been affecting her life over 6 years after taking the training!

12:22 Client success stories inspired by realizations that wouldn’t be part of a traditional financial planning conversation

16:03 Sarah’s advice for aspiring Life Planners and how she and the rest of her team support each other in their journey to become better guides for their clients

20:55 What is next in Sarah’s Life Planning journey


Sarah Byrd, RLP® is a financial life planner and the Chief Compliance Officer at Alpha Advisors, a financial life planning and wealth management firm in Richmond, VA. She co-advises clients with RLP® colleagues Mark Leimberger and Alex Scott. Sarah is passionate about helping clients discover and define their joy and then map a path to delivering it in short order. She graduated from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and held many jobs before landing a role with Alpha Advisors in 2004 that turned into her calling. She earned her Registered Life Planner® designation in 2015. Sarah has been married for 40 years, has two daughters, two sons-in-law, and seven grandchildren. She serves on the board of directors for The Barnabas Center in Richmond, VA.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Life planning | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on I’m a Registered Life Planner®: Sarah Byrd

I’m A Registered Life Planner: Kris Amliwala

Meet Registered Life Planner® Kris Amliwala, ChFP. Kris is one of over 500 professionals globally that have earned the prestigious Registered Life Planner® (RLP®) designation from the Kinder Institute of Life Planning. In this episode of Kinder Institute’s “I’m a Registered Life Planner®” series, Kris Amliwala shares what it is like to be an RLP®.

Strongly believing that “Personal Finance, is way more Personal, than Finance”, Kris helps focus client conversations on what is really important to his clients. Kris aims to increase “Return on Life” for pre-retirees as a Chartered Financial Planner & Registered Life Planner®.

In his conversation with Kinder Institute’s Communications Director, Lora Woodward, Kris discusses a variety of topics, including what originally attracted him to our training programs and how they affected his personal and professional life. He shares how he integrated Life Planning into his practice and what is next on his own Life Planning journey. See below for a timestamped overview of their conversation.

Chapters:

00:30 Kris’s background and journey to the financial advice sector

01:30 What Life Planning means to Kris

02:00 Why Kris was attracted to Life Planning and why he wanted to become a Registered Life Planner®

02:53 How Kris’s personal life changed as an effect of going through Kinder Institute’s Life Planning program

04:26 How becoming an RLP® has affected how Kris conducts client meetings

05:48 A client success story

06:39 Kris’s advice for aspiring Life Planners

07:35 How Kris introduced Life Planning into his business and to his clients

08:33 What’s next in Kris’s Life Planning journey


Kris Amliwala, ChFP, RLP® is Principal and Financial Planner at Designer Wealth Management. He is passionate about helping his clients “Increase their Return on Life,” not just their returns on investments (although that is part of it!). While originally, Kris had pursued a career in Pharmaceutical Sciences, he found his passion for finance by chance: through fulfilling a short term need at a family business. Through this short-term introduction to financial advice, Kris knew he had to become more involved in helping couples make their money work harder for them! Kris was committed to learning all that he could to be a better adviser for his clients and part of that involved becoming a Registered Life Planner® with the Kinder Institute of Life Planning. Kris was named a 2020 Professional Advisor by the New Talent Awards and was Highly Commended For The Personal Finance Awards Education Champion of the Year in 2020 and 2021. You can learn more about Kris at his professional website mypensionplanner.co.uk.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on I’m A Registered Life Planner: Kris Amliwala

Trainer Spotlight: Scott Frank

Scott Frank, CFA, CFP®, RLP® has revolutionized his practice since earning his Registered Life Planner® designation in 2018. As the founder of Stone Steps Financial, he is passionate about helping his clients align their money with their life, freeing up their time to enjoy what matters most. He is also a co-host of the Real Personal Finance Podcast, where he helps break down listener’s questions on personal finance. Scott is part of Kinder Institute’s North American training team and can be found co-training the EVOKE® Life Planning Training, and assisting with The Seven Stages of Money Maturity® Training and the Life Planning Mentorship.

We caught up with Scott recently for our Spotlighting Trainers series and here’s what he shared:

How has Life Planning changed your personal and professional life?

Life Planning taught me that I am not the Hero, I am the Guide. My role with clients is to deeply listen and then help them put their resources to work once we know what is essential to them.

What was a meaningful interaction that you had with a client as a result of Life Planning?

So many. A recent one was a client leaning into their dream of becoming a writer. They have left their previous profession and we have aligned their finances so they can live into their dream!

What made you interested in becoming a trainer with the Kinder Institute?

I wanted to deepen my understanding with Life Planning. The best way I know of to deepen my knowledge is to teach.

What piece of advice would you give to new Life Planners?

Be attentive to I, Me, Mine thoughts. The challenges that come with learning EVOKE® often come back to allowing yourself to listen deeply and allow your I, Me, Mine thoughts to go, while letting the feelings be.

What is one practice management tip that you would give to new Life Planners?

Pace yourself. Life Planning all of your clients at once can be a heavy lift. Find a cadence that works well for you and stick with it.


Scott Frank is the founder of Stone Steps Financial, a financial planning and investment management firm located in Encinitas, CA that helps families and professionals align their money with life. He is passionate about pursuing a life-long learning model in order to best serve his clients and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®), and Registered Life Planner (RLP®) designations. Scott was named to Investment News 40 under 40 in 2019 and has contributed to numerous articles on personal finance for the Los Angeles Time, CNBC, the Washington Post, and USA Today. When he’s not helping clients pursue their financial goals, you’ll find Scott co-hosting, Real Personal Finance, where he and another financial advisor break down listener’s personal finance questions into easily digestible answers, training advisors the EVOKE® process at the Kinder Institute of Life Planning, surfing, or hanging out in Cardiff, where he lives with his wife and two boys.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Life planning, Trainer Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Trainer Spotlight: Scott Frank

Trainer Spotlight: Thom Boot

Thom Boot RLP®, has been a Registered Life Planner® since 2008. As the founder of Thomorrow Life Planning, based in the Netherlands, Thom helps his clients find what matters most to them and then helps to deliver it. He also works with both advisors and entrepreneurs. Thom is a Kinder Institute trainer and can be found co-leading a 2-Day Seven Stages of Money Maturity® Training, an EVOKE® Life Planning training, or coaching Life Planners during a Mentorship Program or Life Planning Mastery. A native Dutch speaker and fluent in both German and English, Thom assists with trainings all over the world!

Thom Boot, Registered Life Planner®, of Thomorrow Life Planning

We caught up with Thom recently for our Spotlighting Trainers series and here’s what he shared:

How has Life Planning changed your personal and professional life?

I live my life with more confidence, trust and meaning–both personally and professionally.

What was a meaningful interaction that you had with a client as a result of Life Planning?

The client dared to quit his job and gave himself a year of discovery and reflection. As a result, he is working his dream job now and his personal life has improved significantly. In other words, he is happy!

What piece of advice would you give to new Life Planners?

Your work will never be so fullfilling as it will be as a Life Planner.

What is one practice management tip that you would give to new Life Planners?

Trust the proces of EVOKE®, go out there and choose it or lose it!


Thom Boot, RLP® studied International Economics at the University of Tilburg and became involved in financial services in the early nineties. Starting as a financial advisor, Thom became an entrepreneur in 2000. He first met George Kinder in 2003 in the Netherlands and became an RLP® in 2008. From then on his focus was on Life Planning and founded his company Thomorrow Lifeplanning. He co-founded the Association of Life Planners (VLPN) in the Netherlands and inspires others to work in this wonderful profession. In joining the Next Step Factory Collective (NSF), Thom is also helping entrepreneurs to make a difference. His own next logical step was to become a Kinder Institute trainer in order to share and inspire others. Last but not least: Thom is living his life plan! Thom is co-trainer on both the Seven Stages of Money Maturity® Training and the EVOKE® Life Planning Training and hosts the Mentorship program in the Netherlands.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Trainer Spotlight: Thom Boot

Practice Management Tip: Integrating Life Planning into Your Business

After a training with Kinder Institute of Life Planning, you are full of inspiration and energy and excited to share what you have learned with your clients. A successful way to introduce Life Planning to your audience is tell your own story of attending the course and how it is impacting your life.

We are always thrilled to hear from recent graduates who jump right in, start living their own Life Plan, and invite their clients to experience their journey.

Check out how Michael Morton, who recently completed The Seven Stages of Money Maturity® Training, shares his story in a newsletter to clients. We thought it was a great example of how to connect with clients, share a personal reflection from the training, and invite clients to consider how they could benefit from getting Life Planned.

See the main text from his newsletter below:

Ask not what you can do for your financial well being but what your financial well being can do for you

By Michael Morton, ChFC®

We all know the importance of saving for the future. Retirement planning, budgeting, saving – most of the financial planning industry is focused on the future. Delaying gratification means that you can live out your last days comfortably and engaging in all the things you always dreamed of doing such as traveling, gardening, golfing… or whatever it is that makes you happy.

We also feel the need to carpe diem: seize the day! Tomorrow is not promised. It is likely you know someone that retired only to develop a fatal illness shortly thereafter, rendering his or her savings and retirement planning futile.

What’s the best plan? Suffer today in the hopes of a comfortable tomorrow? Spend what you have now because the future is not guaranteed? Surely there is a way to balance the scales.

I had the pleasure of attending a 2-day training with the Kinder Institute of Life Planning. It is a program designed for financial planners to help their clients build a Life Plan. How can financial planning help you live your best life both now and in all your years to come? Through financial life planning, you can discover if your resources (time, money, energy) are fully aligned with your values. Maybe buying a house, driving a nice car, and having 2.5 kids is your goal, but for most that is just an expectation.

During the training, I had the opportunity to reflect on what’s truly important to me. One thing became clear: I value my time and want to ensure I spend it doing things I love. My “ideal day” was a vision of hitting the ski slopes with my kids for some exercise, bonding, and fresh mountain air. It was easy to step into that dream, I made it happen the following week.

Think about your Life Plan. What can you make happen in 2021?

What I’m reading

What I’m Listening To


Mike Morton, ChFC® loves helping busy entrepreneurs and tech professionals with careful, smart, and custom advice so that you can enjoy life now and grow your money for the future. Mike is Founder of Morton Financial Advice, where he works closely with only a small number of clients to provide year-round financial planning and wealth management. Together, we define your goals and implement a plan to reach them successfully.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in Kinder Institute of Life Planning’s blog, Money and Meaning.

Posted in Life planning | Tagged | Comments Off on Practice Management Tip: Integrating Life Planning into Your Business

Trainer Spotlight: Mary Zimmerman, CFP®, RLP®

Mary Zimmerman CFP®, RLP®, has been part of the Life Planning movement since its early days. As the owner of PATH Financial Strategies, based in Arizona, USA, she uses her skills as a Life Planner to find out what is most important to her clients and builds a financial plan to support that. Mary is a Kinder Institute trainer and can be found leading a 2-Day training, co-leading an EVOKE course, or coaching advisors during the Mentorship Program.

We caught up with Mary recently for our Spotlighting Trainers series and here’s what she shared:

How has Life Planning changed your personal and professional life?

I had afternoon plane tickets for FPA National in California on September 11, 2001, having signed up for an interesting pre-conference training entitled “The Seven Stages of Money Maturity®.” By that afternoon, planes had been grounded and the entire conference called off. Therefore, I was determined to attend in the fall of 2002. And, oh my! It was a particularly potent year for change and this training propelled many of us forward. I made friends for life in those two days.

The 2-Day training resonated with me in a deep and profound way. I learned a new framework for understanding the impact of money in our lives and a new process for talking to clients about it. But more importantly, I experienced for myself just how much emotion and meaning we all attach to money. These insights made sense of the intuitive promptings I had been receiving for years. With this newfound knowledge, I felt I finally had the tools and concepts I needed to create the personal life and business that represented me and my thoughts on how clients should be supported.

In addition, my life has been enhanced by the stunning quality of relationships within our Life Planning community. I am constantly amazed at the caliber of people who are attracted to this work. I am never at a loss for ideas to toss around, books that have meaning, or lives that inspire. That rocks!

In my own personal Life Planning exploration I discovered, or perhaps re-discovered, that I have a passion for talking to people about money and meaning—the MORE the better. That is why I went through the rigors of becoming a trainer with Kinder Institute. In this position, I get to connect with financial advisors and share my love of this work. Each time I lead or co-lead a Seven Stages or EVOKE training, I transform a bit. It is a privilege to witness effort and change among participants. The model has stood the test of time and seems more relevant as the years go by.

I count myself fortunate to have been part of the Life Planning movement since the early days of its formation. While there has been an evolution, the core elements have remained. In Life Planning, there is a relational, not transactional, alliance. Life Planners find out what is most important to their client and build a financial plan to support that.

What was a meaningful interaction that you had with a client as a result of Life Planning?

Years ago, Tom and Nancy came in to discuss retirement. Tom had decided on a retirement date and, together, they wanted to talk about how that might look. I took them through the classic Three Questions exercise which stimulated a thoughtful discussion about their future. From their answers, dreams were put into place. A Life Plan was made.

Unfortunately, shortly after his designated retirement date, Tom was diagnosed with a brain tumor and for almost four years following his diagnosis, Nancy cared for him as his health worsened. Born on the 8th day of the 8th month, he died on the 12th day of the 12th month.

Shortly after his death, I sent Nancy an email and reminded her of our Life Planning sessions. I sent along Tom’s answers to the Three Questions, which reveal what a person considers to be most meaningful and important in their life. Nancy and their two daughters were in the core of each of the three answers, in his handwriting. It was such a gift to his family that these questions had been asked and answered so that they knew with even greater certainty how much they had been cherished. After his passing, the family followed up on the dream of having a cabin in Colorado, as well as hiking the Colorado Trail together in Tom’s honor. Sticks were gathered on the hike and were arranged in his name off to the side of the trail.

We never quite know where we are going when we enter into a Life Planning engagement. Each appointment is original and real. Life Planners are in an honored position: you see the beauty that comes to light in these meetings. My practice has been rejuvenated by the hope and vigor that this process helps to inspire and release in my clients.

What piece of advice would you give to new Life Planners?

If you are looking for meaningful work, this is it! Your own life will change as you work with clients. Feel into your feelings and enjoy the ride!

What is one practice management tip that you would give to new Life Planners?

Bring your authentic self into each meeting. Trust yourself and the process. And breathe!


Mary Zimmerman, CFP®, RLP® has a passion for talking about money and meaning. This passion has taken her around the globe, including twice to India, where she led The Seven Stages of Money Maturity® 2-Day Trainings, based on the work of George Kinder. She is the owner of PATH Financial Strategies, LLC, in Chandler, Arizona. PATH is an acronym for “planning at the heart.” Mary is one of the founding members of Kinder Institute of Life Planning and was the first trainer with the Institute in the United States. She is a former board member of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Phoenix and is trained in The Art of Hosting Conversations about Money. She is certified in Levels I and II of Spiral Dynamics. Mary is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Society of Accountants, American Mensa, and the Nazrudin Project, a global think-tank of professionals, many with the CFP® credential, dedicated to the human and spiritual aspects of money.

Do you have a story to tell? We want to hear your Journey in Life Planning. Email lora.woodward@kinderinstitute.com, to express interest in being featured in the Kinder Institute blog.

Posted in Trainer Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Trainer Spotlight: Mary Zimmerman, CFP®, RLP®