Profiles in Life Planning: Louis Vollebregt #1

Photograph of Louis Vollebregt, RLP®

Louis Vollebregt, RLP®

Profile:

Name:  Louis Vollebregt

Certifications and memberships:  RLP®

Business Name: Means in Progress BV

Location: Horalaan 14, 6721 KN BENNEKOM (The Netherlands)

Website: louisvollebregt.nl and meansinprogress.nl

Favorite Parts of My Own Life Plan:    Doing what matters most; not wasting time on things that just seem urgent but actually are unimportant to me. Helping other people to develop to the max of their abilities.

Favorite  Life Plans I Have Helped Deliver for Clients:    I love to work with entrepreneurs in the financial industry. As this is a branch that is very much trying to find new ways to deliver good service, I take pride in helping professionals in our industry to migrate to worthwhile new ways to interact with clients.

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in Profiles in Life Planning | Leave a comment

Profiles in Life Planning: Bruce Wilson

Photograph of Registered Life Planner® Bruce Wilson

Bruce Wilson FIFP, CFP, RLP®

Profile:

Name:  Bruce Wilson

Certifications and memberships:  FIFP, CFP, RLP

Business Name: Helm Godfrey Partners Business

Location: London

Website: http://www.helmgodfrey.com

Favorite Parts of My Own Life Plan:    My young adulthood had been a quest for freedom through travel and personal development. When I was life planned my journey had been about work and personal development but I had forgotten my quest for freedom in my life. The life planning brought that straight up like an express train roaring into my consciousness.

Favorite  Life Plans I Have Helped Deliver for Clients:    A widower getting in touch with his desire to find a new partner to share his life and how he would set about doing that and the fact that within a year he was married.  A 50 + year old man with a life-long desire to have a model train set in his home and waiting for the house that would have the room to do it.  Through Life Planning he came to realize that he could start now with the room he had and not wait for the house that would probably never come.

Posted in Profiles in Life Planning

Profiles in Life Planning: Mary Zimmerman #1

Photograph of Registered Life Planner® Mary Zimmerman

Mary Zimmerman, CFP®, RLP®

Profile:

Name:  Mary Zimmerman CFP®, RLP®

Certifications and memberships:
Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner
Registered Life Planner®
Financial Planning Association
National Association of Tax Professionals
National Society of Accountants
Mensa International
Nazrudin Project

Business Name: PATH Financial Strategies, LLC

Location: Chandler, Arizona

Website: None

Favorite Parts of My Own Life Plan:    I was fortunate to be a member of the first graduating class of Registered Life Planners® (Spring, 2003). My Life Plan has evolved over the years in wonderful and unexpected ways. Life has a way of changing our “plans.” For instance, since my original plan, I have become a grandmother. That changes life for just about everyone who becomes a grandparent, AND, as part of the Life Planning process, I was encouraged to noodle about what that meant to me. I will be “consciously present” when I am with my grandchildren. I will appreciate each stage of their life, and listen to them with my heart. For me, this intention is my guide, and Life Planning evoked this in me.

Favorite  Life Plans I Have Helped Deliver for Clients:    What comes to my mind when I think about Life Planning clients is the absolute beauty that arises in each person as they speak about their deepest desires and highest ideals. I have heard from a 26-year-old paraplegic military veteran that leaving a meaningful legacy was at his core. I have witnessed a wife telling her husband that she wished she had told him more times that she loved him. I have watched clients decide that “time trumps moneymaking” and seen the creative ways that “valued time” was implemented in their Life Plan. It continues to be a rare privilege to be part of this Life Planning movement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Profiles in Life Planning | Leave a comment

Announcing “Profiles in Life Planning”

Life Planning is a story about stories.

Life Planning is one of the greatest stories imaginable, because it is the story of more and more people every day living the life of their dreams.

Life Planning is also the surprising story of one of the least trusted and most scandalous industries, financial services, evolving a new leading edge full of truly generous-hearted advisers who place serving the life goals and interests of their clients above all else.

One of the things that people find moving about George Kinder’s new book, Life Planning for You: Design and Deliver the Life of Your Dreams, is that it is full of great stories of how Life Planning has changed lives in the best of ways.  (Available in paperback ($13.85) and Kindle ($2.99).  See www.LifePlanningForYou.com.)

The Profiles in Life Planning series introduces some of those extraordinary people whose own lives were changed dramatically by going through Life Planning and who in turn make it their business to help others change their lives. Their Profiles offer short excerpts from their stories in their own words.

You can see these Profiles featured on social media, or see them as they come out on our Life Planning for You blog page http://blog.lifeplanningforyou.com as well as here.

The Profiles videos are not slick professional promotional pieces, they are home movies, real people talking to the friend or family member behind the camera as if they were talking intimately to you. This is the way Life Planning is done, person to person, as real as real can be.

There are two Profiles in Life Planning series, the “Life of My Dreams” and the “Why Do Life Planning” series. The “Life of My Dreams” Profile videos tell the story of how that individual life has been transformed by going through the Life Planning process. The “Why Do Life Planning” series talks about the process itself and the benefits it brings to the planner and the one planned.

Posted in Profiles in Life Planning

Life Planning Part 3: Twenty-Four Hours to Go

This is the final article in a terrific 3-part series from MAROTTA ON MONEY by David John Marotta (2010-07-19).  The earlier articles are on this blog.
http://www.emarotta.com/life-planning-part-3-twenty-four-hours-to-go/

Life planning peels back the layers of our soul, seeking the best and highest calling for our existence. Seek out a financial advisor who understands what you truly value and structures your finances accordingly to best support your life’s mission.

The idea is simple yet ingenious. Begin with the end in mind.

Let’s take another look at George Kinder’s well-known “Three Questions” that seek to uncover those goals and values most central in our lives. Number one is “If you had all the time or money you needed, what would you do?”

The response to this question typically provokes a long list of everything we want that money can buy. But with reflection, it goes deeper, stirring the longings of our heart.

The second question aims at these deeper desires. “What do you want to do or be so in the end you will feel that you’ve lived fully?”

These values most commonly revolve around three different realms. First, we yearn for meaningful connections with others starting with our immediate families and extending into our communities and the world at large. Second, we seek authentic spirituality, an odyssey that shapes and renews our very identity. And third, we revere beauty, creativity, nature and special locations. These three realms, righteousness, truth and beauty, are the areas where most of us find meaning and significance.

Kinder’s third question can be encapsulated by the phrase “Twenty-four hours to go.” It probes beyond our relationships and activities into the sum of our very existence. “Imagine that your doctor shocks you with the news that you only have 24 hours to live. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality. Ask yourself: What did you miss? Who did you not get to be? What did you not get to do?”

This is a daunting question for many of us to even contemplate. Every day we get up preoccupied only with our to-do list, assuming we always have tomorrow. One day we won’t have tomorrow. We all know intellectually that day will come, but we don’t want to make our plans in light of it.

It is especially difficult to face our own mortality if we have not taken the time to deal openly and honestly with the issues in the first two questions. These three questions must be taken in order. We all want to perceive our lives as successful and significant. But justifying our existence is a daunting challenge.

Every day we face the dual desire to improve the world or to enjoy it. One requires judgment; the other, contentment. We struggle between the duty to do what we should and the passion to do what we love. The first structures our lives and the second strengthens and nurtures us. The consequences of these decisions are not always easy to understand because we must live our lives going forward. Kinder’s third question gives us the opportunity to stop and look back, to assess how our decisions have changed the course of our life if our life were to end tomorrow.

How do you want to be remembered by your friends and family? Author Samuel Butler wrote, “Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.” Our faults are often embarrassingly obvious and humbling. First we have to learn to play the instrument. Then we need to learn to make our own music. At every moment we can confront our own mortality and reflect on the progress we have made.

Surveys have found that people regret what they didn’t do more often than what they did. And when people express remorse about having done something wrong, it was usually what I call a “life buster”–one of those decisions that can greatly compromise your life.

Serious life regrets include marrying someone you knew wasn’t right for you, getting hooked on drugs, or breaking the law. You can recover from these, but you will lament the spiritual death and wasted opportunities along the way. A good rule of thumb is always to ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?” If it might destroy your life, hesitancy is indeed a virtue.

Regrets about things we didn’t do are more subtle. Our lives can change course dramatically and be filled with serendipity all because of some small decision on our part. How many times have we heard the story of how a happily married couple met, only to be surprised that it almost didn’t happen? If the worst outcome of a decision is a little embarrassment, perhaps the chance is worth taking.

We each long to participate in something significant. And that requires foresight, planning and forgoing our momentary desires in order to work toward realizing our greater passions. The choices we make each day determine the ones we will have the opportunity to make in the future. Without those hesitant, often stumbling first steps, we can’t complete the journey.

The Latin phrase “Audaces fortuna iuvat” translates as “Fortune favors the bold.” We commonly use a milder version of it in our family: “You do not have because you do not ask.” Often our hopes and dreams are unrealized because they are left unmentioned.

Voicing what we are passionate about can be scary. Beginning to act on our ideas can feel overwhelming. But courage isn’t a lack of fear, it’s action in spite of fear. And our fear may an indication that we are on the quest of our lives.

For entrepreneurs, overcoming fear is a regular occurrence. Many, perhaps even most, multimillionaires have at least one if not more failed businesses in their past. That’s because only those willing to risk failure–and the lessons learned from it–have the grit to achieve success.

Entrepreneurship, or its equivalent, is a form of proactive living. You don’t necessarily have to start a business, but you do have to begin the journey toward your life’s goal. When you take ownership of your life, you can do what you think is best, go where you think you are called and be who you believe you should be. Life can have fewer compromises and therefore fewer regrets.

I asked Kinder why he championed his three questions among financial advisors. He answered, “Money is the facilitator of what is most meaningful for us in the world. When we understand this, everything about money becomes clear and falls into place. We don’t hire a financial advisor just because they’re a nice person, they show us interesting spreadsheets, and they seem pretty much on the ball. We hire them so that with their professional financial expertise they can best deliver our brilliance into the world. Without being crystal clear what our most profound goals are, we can’t begin that process.”

A violin resonates because of the laws of physics. But virtuosos have to feel the music in their souls. Only after we know what we are striving to do with our lives can we make financial choices that enable and reflect our own special music.


Marotta Wealth Mangagement, Inc. of Charlottesville provides fee-only financial planning and asset management. Visit www.emarotta.com for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Life Planning Part 2: Just a Few Years Left

This is the second article in a terrific 3-part series from MAROTTA ON MONEY by David John Marotta (2010-07-12)
http://www.emarotta.com/life-planning-part-2-just-a-few-years-left

George Kinder, a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors and a fee-only financial planner, founded the Kinder Institute of Life Planning.  He helped popularize the concept of financial life planning, which begins with the idea that financial advisors should understand their clients’ life purpose and structure their finances accordingly.  In other words, they should begin with the end in mind. This is both obvious and genius.

Kinder is probably best known for his now famous “Three Questions” that seek to uncover those goals and values most central in our lives. Number one is “If you had all the time or money you needed, what would you do?”

The response to this question typically provokes a long list of all our desires that money can buy.  But with reflection it goes deeper, stirring the longings of our heart. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “One of the dangers of having a lot of money is that you may be quite satisfied with the kinds of happiness money can give.”

Our materialistic culture seduces us into believing happiness can be packaged as a commodity and taken home in a shopping bag.  As a result, we spend money on goods and services that at best provide fleeting satisfaction and may jeopardize long-term goals that could have brought us real fulfillment.

We may be tempted to judge our well-being not by the quality of our lives but by how we compare with others.  Today’s borderline poor live as well as the upper middle class did a few decades ago.   But they still feel deprived. As we become accustomed to a higher standard of living, luxury quickly loses its luster.  We always want more.  Kinder’s first question gets all these desires out on the table, at least partially, so we can move past them.

Kinder’s second question, which can be encapsulated by the phrase “Just a Few Years Left,” probes those values that money can’t buy.  “Imagine that you visit your doctor, who tells you that you have only 5-10 years to live.  You won’t ever feel sick, but you will have no notice of the moment of your death.  What will you do in the time you have remaining? Will you change your life and how will you do it? (Note that this question does not assume unlimited funds.)”

Take the time to explore this question periodically.  A personal five-year plan isn’t the sign of an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.  Systematically moving toward our goals is simply living intentionally.

If you have young children, your answer may focus almost exclusively on them and include few, if any, of your own personal goals.  Certainly parenthood is a consuming responsibility. But it is only for a season of our lives.  And even during that time, parents can often integrate some of their own dreams.

Kinder unfolds all of these ideas in his book The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life.  Many of us hesitate to take this personal journey. I regularly get letters questioning what spirituality and values have to do with financial planning.  I believe these detractors miss the whole point.

Beth Nedelisky and I teach an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute course each spring, “Financial Planning for Success and Significance in Retirement.” In the first class we explore finding meaning in retirement and defining success.  A few participants are disappointed that they have to wait until later for the spreadsheets and income projections. But most are glad to talk about why a complete retreat from the working world followed by 24/7 recreation and a shrinking social circle is an impoverished environment for our souls.

We shouldn’t shortchange the process of wrestling with the meaning of our lives at any age.  Deep down many of us probably know what would be a more satisfying life, but we are afraid to contemplate the implications.  Change can be intimidating.  The alternative, however, is to keep living a life that in our own eyes may seem unimportant.

Even without small children, significance stems heavily from family and other close relationships.  Loving others demands risking and being willing to change and adapt in order to connect deeply.  At the end of life, people often regret the risks they didn’t take. For many of us, it takes something drastic, like a serious medical prognosis or a near accident, to push us out of our comfort zone.

Often it requires getting older to find the wisdom and the grace to accept people as they are.  The virtues of forgiveness and forbearance are necessary to live harmoniously. Relationships can be messy, but they are generally worth the effort.  And it helps to remember that what is most important is being the right person, not finding the right person.  We can learn to accept people without necessarily approving of their choices.

Once our personal relationships are healthy, many of us want to connect with the outside world and give back to others.  Even small efforts to help others can make a significant impact on our communities and change the course of people’s lives.

A second realm where people find significance is authentic spirituality.  This is more than simply being religious, which is often expressed through practicing a specific tradition. Authentic spirituality often involves the totality of our life in which we seek to have our very identity renewed and shaped.

Compartmentalizing spiritual considerations into a small subset of our lives lacks authenticity.  We long for a more meaningful life.  At times these issues demand our attention and contemplation.  We can start by relying on our spiritual traditions, but outward practices can only take us so far.  Authentic spirituality is an odyssey of discovery and personal growth such that the truths learned change the way we live each day.

The third sphere where people seek a deeper and richer life is in the arena of beauty. Many people enjoy exploring their creativity, perhaps through music, the visual arts, or personal writing.

For others this sense of beauty is found in a reverence for nature.  Places in the world like the redwood forests of California have a magical quality.  Or we may find a special connection with urban locales like Central Park or the back alleys of Venice.

These three realms–righteousness, truth, and beauty–are the three areas where most people find meaning and significance.  They categorize what is most important to many of us.

I asked George Kinder about people’s life goals and he said, “Sometimes I wonder why it is that so many of us make foolish decisions around money. Even with good advisors at our side, it seems. And then I reflect that perhaps the reason is that we have never really figured out what money is and what it’s about. We think it’s about spreadsheets and bank balances and rates of return and stock markets and buying things and getting into debt. Or at least those are some of the categories that might come up for us.

“But money really is the great facilitator of what is most meaningful for us in the world. It’s meant to help us put together a life that best expresses our own individual genius, our brilliance, our creativity, our compassion, our values, our integrity, our spirit, our mission in life, what is most important of all that we realize and become.”

Some thoughtful responses to these life planning exercises can help us set goals that are both meaningful and deeply personal and help us truly value our lives. Take the time to reflect on what you would like to do or be to live life to its fullest. Next week we will move on to the third life planning exercise.


Marotta Wealth Management, Inc. of Charlottesville provides fee-only financial planning and asset management. Visit www.emarotta.com for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Life Planning Part 1: Plenty of Money

This is the first article in a great 3-part series from MAROTTA ON MONEY by David John Marotta (2010-07-05)
http://www.emarotta.com/article.php?ID=400

Thoughtful wealth management is more than just maximizing net worth. It also gives us the best chance of meeting our life goals. Wealth is only valuable because it helps us make a significant impact on our world. It doesn’t give us meaning.

Life planning takes a holistic look at what you truly value. And for most people, their life is more important than their money. Only after exploring your life goals can you structure your finances to help you realize your dreams.

A fee-only fiduciary wealth manager sits on the clients’ side of the table. With a deep understanding of clients’ goals, the professional can manage their money just as the clients would if they had the same expertise.

We begin the process with a preliminary questionnaire that poses a series of easy questions to help us learn about a client’s goals and values. We ask, “What charitable and/or professional organizations do you support? What interest/hobbies do you enjoy? What gets you out of bed in the morning? What would you like to be doing five years from now?”

This allows us to begin to know our clients at a deeper and more revealing level than what we learn from a tax return and net worth statement. It is difficult to write about life planning without sounding religious or moralistic, which is the point. Ultimately, our financial decisions are spiritually based. The process of financial planning pushes us to articulate which values we want to live by and motivates us to adjust our daily monetary decisions to fit those values.

Spiritually sensitive financial advisors, regardless of their specific perspective, ask astute questions that reveal these values. Christians, Zen Buddhists and many other perspectives share this common framework that spiritual concerns are critical. For example, George Kinder , author of “ The Seven Stages of Money Maturity: Understanding the Spirit and Value of Money in Your Life,” approaches life planning from such a perspective.  He uses a series of three exercises to help people sort out when they might need to change direction. Each one is an experiment in which you ponder one potential scenario and imagine all the possible ways you might react.

The first one, called “Plenty of Money,” starts with one of Kinder’s famous “Three Questions”:

“Imagine you are financially secure, that you have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future. How would you live your life? Would you change anything? Let yourself go. Don’t hold back on your dreams. Describe a life that is completely and richly yours.”

This scenario is playful and fun as well as revealing. I’ve seen several variations, such as “What would you do if you won the lottery?” or “What would you do if you had a million dollars that you couldn’t spend on yourself?” But Kinder’s format is probably the better one because it purposefully focuses not on the money but on your life’s calling.

Like Eric Liddell in the film “Chariots of Fire,” we are searching for meaning in our lives. He says, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” We are looking for a life so completely and richly ours that we feel God’s pleasure. This is our area of genius. This is our calling.

This exercise may not result in a practical life change when you are done. But it will begin to uncover some of your inner longings that currently may be eluding you.

Another excellent way to explore this process is Barbara Sher’s book “ I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was: How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It.” Subtitled “How to Discover What You Really Want and How to Get It,” it offers practical ways to expand on Kinder’s scenario and find your heart’s desire.

You’ve probably heard the saying “Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.” Studies show that deep joy comes from knowing exactly what you want and feeling like you are moving toward getting it.

Sher suggests the next time you are with a group of strangers, tell them the most offbeat idea you can think of. Say your dream is to raise Dalmatians in the Himalayas, but you have no contacts in Tibet.

People’s interest perks up. They may even try to solve your problems. Some may react negatively, but most suggest ideas. But describe the same scenario to your family or friends, and they will try to save you from your folly. And that is one reason why we find it so difficult to dream long enough to determine what our dreams really are.

Another of my favorite exercises in the book comes after you create an ideal scenario. Sher then asks you to act on it for only an hour: Get the application. Find out about the job. Call some contacts. Make an appointment.

She says that planning is mostly science fiction, just a hopeful prediction. But following a plan gets us out into the world where something can happen. Anything that moves us toward what we want makes room for serendipitous events. It also forces us to confront any hidden resistance within us.

Finding our life’s goals requires quiet times of thought and reflection over a long period to learn about ourselves and our place in the world. And often it takes experiences we can only have by trying a number of different endeavors.

All of this may sound too fuzzy or creative, but nothing is more important in the wealth management process. Balancing a family’s financial goals and making financial choices according to those values is at the heart of comprehensive financial planning. Financial woes often come not from a lack of income, but from our failure to live according to our true values.

Take some time to imagine how you would live your life if you had plenty of money. Next week we will discuss the second life planning exercise.

Marotta Wealth Management, Inc. of Charlottesville provides fee-only financial planning and asset management. Visit www.emarotta.com for more information.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why smart people do foolish things with money

Sometimes I wonder why it is that so many of us make foolish decisions around money.  And then I reflect that perhaps the reason is that we have never really figured out what money is or what it’s all about.  It’s easy to fall into thinking that it’s about buying things or investing, spreadsheets and bank balances, rates of return and stock markets, saving or getting into debt.  But we need to step back.  Money doesn’t just have value; it is a vehicle for expressing our values.  Money really is the great facilitator.  It’s the facilitator of what is most meaningful for us in the world.  It’s meant to help us put together a life that best expresses our own individual genius, our creativity, our compassion, our integrity, our spirit,  our mission in life.  When we understand this, everything about money gets clearer and things falls into place.  We don’t hire a financial advisor just because they’re a nice person, or because they show us interesting spreadsheets.  We hire them so that with their professional financial expertise they can best deliver our brilliance into the world. Unless we become crystal clear about our most profound goals, we can’t begin that process.  The kind of goal discovery I’m talking about takes time but is immensely worthwhile.  Financial life planning is the key to sorting out the unconscious way we behave with money so our personal energies and financial resources can work in harmony to create the life we most want to live.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Examined Lives – understanding risk through life planning

The whole topic of risk-taking is central to business and investing.  But what IS risk?  It’s more than just a technical measure of stock market volatility.  As individuals, we experience it as a feeling of uncertainty or anxiety in response to possible future events.  When it comes to the risks of investing, the feelings get more complicated because they’re tied up with our hopes and dreams for the future. When we invest, it’s ultimately to deliver quality of life at some point in the future.  In short, we want to buy some future happiness.  But do we actually know what will make us happy in the future?  The latest research in the field of positive psychology shows that we almost certainly have no idea.  I take a look at this fascinating research and its implications for financial planning in my new article, “Examined Lives”.

Excerpt: “Let’s compare two different people: one wins $1 million in the lottery, the other has an accident and loses the use of his legs. Which one will be happier with their life 12 months after these events? That’s easy. The lottery winner, right? In fact, research on actual Illinois State lottery winners and new paraplegics reveals an astonishing result. Members of both groups are equally happy with their lives a year later. Honestly! This wasn’t just one quirky bit of research, either. Dozens and dozens of well-designed studies have reached the same conclusion: We don’t have a very firm grasp on what truly makes us happy.”  READ MORE

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

What is Financial Life Planning, anyway?

Something big and important is lacking in the process of getting financial advice today.  That’s the basic challenge put forward by practitioners of a new approach to personal finance called Financial Life Planning.

Life Planning begins with a notion that will seem either blindingly obvious or trivial at first, namely that financial advisors should first discover their clients’ most essential goals and aspirations before developing financial recommendations.  That’s straightforward enough.  What’s so different about that?

The issue is that traditionally financial advisors have focused on the numbers—budgeting, investments, taxes, estate planning, or insurance–without exploring the broader context of a client’s life.

And most people approach advisors with similarly preconceived ideas.  They put their questions in financial terms: I want to “grow my portfolio”, “save for retirement”, “get my spending under control”, or simply “get organized”.  The assumption is that advisors are essentially financial wise men or engineers.  Given the right inputs, they can figure out the best way to invest, pay down debt, reduce taxes, or just manage things better.

Life Planning approaches things from a more holistic standpoint.  The Life Planning philosophy is founded on the idea that every human being strives to live a life of meaning and purpose.  A financial advisor’s task must therefore begin with a discovery of each client’s unique aspirations—a process that is often complicated or confused by the client’s own fear or reluctance to share such sensitive yet meaningful content.

For most of us, our deeper passions are closely-guarded because at some point in life they have been forgotten or stymied.  Almost everyone necessarily chooses security and predictability at some point in the process of entering adulthood, and those choices can eventually feel like a straightjacket.  Life becomes boring and empty of vitality.  When we remember our earlier hopes and dreams, we feel a residue of resignation, even shame.  Life Planners help break through these self-imposed limitations by asking some big questions to help us consider what truly matters.

Big questions like:

“If you had all the time or money you needed, what would you do?”

“What do you want to do or be so in the end you will feel that you’ve lived fully?”

“How do you want to be remembered by your friends and children?”

The results are often startlingly powerful.

A Wall Street trader leaves his job for the life of an innkeeper and artist.  The workaholic accountant finally takes a decent vacation and reconnects with his teenage kids.  The bored middle manager ignites her passion to open the restaurant she’s always dreamed of.  A burned-out school teacher takes a leave of absence, rediscovers his love of teaching, and finds a new position closer to his innate interests.

Time and again, Life Planners find that clients harbor submerged or unattended dreams that, once articulated, unleash tremendous enthusiasm and vigor.  Long delayed aspirations get hauled onto the front burner.  Energy-sapping obligations are cast aside.

At the Kinder Institute, we think Financial Life Planning is so essential that we consider it the future of the entire financial advisory profession.  If a clear-eyed advisor can help us dispel some of our money anxieties and truly connect to our deeper dreams and aspirations, it can free us from the knee-jerk pursuit of more money and possessions that will otherwise waste the most precious years of our lives.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments