Financial Life Planning involves a broadening of the financial conversation from just financial management to include life management.
George Kinder (Financial Life Planner) puts it this way: “People don’t have financial goals: they have life goals that require financial resources to accomplish. It is in the learning of these life goals that we discover our dreams of freedom; our most exciting vision for the life we want to live”.
Life planning is really a process which supports us in rediscovering “who” we are (core personal values) and “what we really want most” in life (life vision). From here a stronger and much more meaningful connection can be made between “who we are” with “what we have and what we want to do”.
Financial Planning is more effective if it follows Life Planning.
(You need to know where you are going before you buy a ticket!)
It has been recognized that achieving financial success is much more than having information and knowledge about money and investments. Our assumptions, habits and our relationships around money also play a huge role in both our personal and financial success.
In my experience, the process of “life” planning creates the greatest possibility for financial success, because it sets in motion the ability for us to shift our perspectives around our money and to take huge steps towards what we really want most.
What is my role as a Financial Life Planner?
As a Financial Life Planner, I see your life is the axis around which financial discussions revolve and evolve. I assume the role of facilitator, educator, guide and partner. This often requires a “shift” in how you see me and my services as your advisor.
As a Financial Life Planner, success hinges on discovering what life transitions you are currently experiencing and anticipate experiencing in the future. It also requires partnering with you to create a unique life vision based on your personal values.
8 Key Roles of a Financial Life Planner:
- To explore what money represents to you.
- To introduce “new perspectives” for you to try on
- To initiate awareness regarding the non-financial aspects of your financial success
- To have a network of professionals to whom I can confidently refer you
- To anticipate life transitions and to make financial preparations for those transitions
- To assist you in the process of establishing financial goals that facilitate your life goals
- To define both the tangibles and intangibles that you expect your financial assets to provide
- To create the “space and process” you need to clarify your core values and create powerful Visions of your life.
Eight Tenets of Financial Life Planning (FLP)
Summarized from Your Clients for Life: The Definitive Guide to Becoming a Successful Financial Life Planner, by Mitch Anthony, co-authored by Barry LaValley and Carol Anderson
- Each person’s life is a continuum of unique experiences.
- Life is about change and the purpose of FLP is to identify and facilitate successful transitions.
- Each person’s life course is unique. Today, either by chance or by choice, most individuals are following an unconventional life course.
- An adult’s orientation to learning is life-centered. To engage adults in understanding a product, service or process, they must see the relevancy to their own lives.
- Adults have a strong need to be self-directing. FLP seeks to empower individuals to make wise financial decisions and to develop a sense of mastery in this area of life.
- Adults desire balance and meaning in their lives. FLP supports individuals in clarifying vision and goals in all areas of life and to design a financial strategy to support those goals.
- Each person’s internal compass, their values & priorities, guide their decisions in life. FLP supports the client in identifying their values and priorities and then guides them in making financial decisions that are in sync with those values and priorities.
- Successful communication and education is based on asking the right questions. Good communication is more about listening than talking. The goal of FLP is to really get to know the individual client in order to tailor solutions that are unique to the individual.