2 Questions To Help Build Successful Financial Plan
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ based in Utah, but working with clients across the country, I see a common thread in personal financial planning. Successful professionals are typically great at contributing to retirement plans and maximizing deductions. They understand a crucial element to personal finance; save and invest while reducing tax liability as much as possible.
There is one problem that these individuals forget. What deeper purpose does that money serve? Tax-deferred growth and saving on taxes is music to a financial planner’s ears, but what do you plan to do with that money? Most successful professionals, even real estate agents, forget to consider this.
Money is a vehicle to afford what you desire. Money conceptually has no value, it’s just a piece of paper. There is no reason to collect paper. That paper doesn’t have any purpose until you trade it in for something you want.
Too often I sit down with new clients to ask about their goals to either get no answers or vague general answers like, retirement. How can some of the most successful people I know not have an idea of what they want from their hard-earned money? But this is actually extremely common. There is no way to predict if a person is going to have a successful retirement if you don’t know what they plan on doing in retirement. I.e. How much money needs to be saved to do those retirement activities.
Thinking about how your money will serve you is difficult. It means having to break away from every day obligations to think about philosophical principles. No one knows the future, true, but you need to think about what you want that future to look like. To help my clients start thinking from this perspective, I ask them two tough, but helpful questions. You too can use these questions to help guide your financial decisions.
1. Describe to me life at perfection. That moment when everything just clicks. Where are you at, who are you with, and what are you doing?
I recognize that this is deep, but it’s important because it helps you visualize your future. It forces you to use your imagination rather than allowing your brain to rationalize your future. What would your ideal life look like?
2. If you were told there was only a few years left of existence on this planet, what would be most important to you? What do you wish you would have done more of or less of?
Another really deep and touchy question. This time instead of imaging your future, you are in your future, but reflecting on the past. This is a great follow up to the first question, because you might rethink those answers now that the future became more real and important.
Both of these questions are fantastic tools to helping create more meaning to your future money. It becomes very clear what really matters to you. You understand what will be most meaningful and fulfilling. From there you can create a financial plan that supports those core values. Now you can start putting together the activities and costs that will provide you a more meaningful future and retirement.
If you need help putting together your financial plan that incorporates your deepest values, I’m here to help.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. There is no guarantee that a diversified portfolio will enhance overall returns or outperform a non-diversified portfolio. Diversification does not protect against market risk.
The economic forecasts set forth in this material may not develop as predicted and there can be no guarantee that strategies promoted will be successful.