Personal Financial Planning is changing
In traditional financial planning, the primary components include asset management, risk management, debt management, tax planning, estate planning, and income planning. While each area is essential to your financial well-being, there is an underlying assumption inherent in this solely quantitative approach used to perform these functions: everyone is essentially the same, and the only thing that really needs to change from one person to the next is which numbers get plugged into the plan.
Today there is an industry wide adoption of deeper engagements. Technology is helping this momentum of change and clients expect it. But its more than AI enabled activities. The planning and advice business is transitioning to a better higher level of personal service.
Obviously, the financial assets you accumulate, or do not accumulate, control much of your future freedom and the options you have around lifestyle, and health care etc. You must save and manage your money and plan for your needs later in life. Protecting your assets through insurance and risk management is important as well. These are things you need to do as a foundational part of living and planning.
Traditional planning is still important. Today more and more of this can be done online with an auto planning platform like mint, personal capital, or many others which are readily available. Primary guidance from a virtual team can accomplish many of the primary things the traditional agents and brokers used to do.
Once that has been accomplished the deeper more impactful work can begin. To do that you need more than a tech stack with virtual support, you need live human interaction with a trusted team of advisors who make it their focus to go beyond the foundational planning activity. This work can still be virtual meeting oriented, but with a focus on advanced personalized guidance and coordination. It requires a different dialogue.
By combining traditional financial planning with the human dialogue of what’s important in your life, what values you hold, what matters to you, you begin to use your money in a way that is aligned with who you are and what you care about. You create a more balanced and fulfilling plan. This is the financial planning engagement of today. Using technology to do things it does well and humans with emotional intelligence to take it from there.
You do not have to be rich to have a fulfilling life.
You do not have to be a millionaire to have a full and secure life. Do you have to make tough choices? Yes. How you make choices relevant to you is the challenge. It is the underlying reason for moving to a much deeper financial advice/guidance engagement.
The work is different. Spend time to really detail what is important and what is not, for you. In money terms and lifestyle terms. Ask yourself what sacrifices and actions I need to make to balance my means with what truly matters to me. It is a dialogue around what direction is best for me and how to make the changes in my life to make it happen.
It takes time and it takes a different way of thinking.
Find a team who is willing to take the time to use a more robust, human approach to planning. A place where you can integrate all of the traditional planning areas along with the deeper dive of personal intentions, what type of life can I live within the means that I have, and how to maximize my resources to that end.
When you really get down to it, it is the life you live within your means and the personal connections, family, friends, and community that makes us happy and fulfilled. No doubt, happiness comes to people at all levels of wealth and income.
Use these three areas of focus to help put things in balance.
The Financial Life Balance .
- Order – Well-being – financial and lifestyle order
- Financial Peace – Progress, continual growth mentally and physically
- Balance- Freedom. Living within your means in balance. Usually takes compromises.
Through ongoing guidance and collaboration with a team of professionals in tax, law, investments, health, fitness, and so on, you can align these things with your lifestyle choices, and personal intentions. Mostly its increased clarity that you need to develop.
Take your planning to this deeper level, you won’t regret it.
If this rings true to you, and you would like a better idea for yourself where you are in this journey, try this questionnaire. We will send you the results.
Who knows you may find out something new about yourself!
Brent Eugenides, CFP®