Financial Life Planning is a holistic process that will first help you to clarify your values and then guide you in defining and designing your unique version of the “rich” life.
When thinking about values, we often think in terms of principles or standards we consider important such as honesty, loyalty, or altruism. We also tend to think of values in terms of what we hold most dear such as family and good health.
Our values are also those intangibles that keep us motivated. Motivators vary from person to person, but examples include wealth, recognition, achievement, intelligence, creativity, challenge, adventure, harmony, and so on.
In addition, values provide both the purpose for our activities and the criteria for how we allocate our personal resources of time, energy, skills, and money. When there is incongruence between our values and the way we “spend” those resources, inner conflict or dissatisfaction will result.
In Think Again: New Money Choices, Old Money Myths, author and financial advisor Karen Ramsey wrote:
In personal financial management, the place to begin is to adopt a realistic perspective. Money will only improve the quality of your life when it is used with clarity. Only when you learn to spend money in concert with your underlying values—the things that you most deeply care about—will it become a tool for creating a more fulfilling life.
Therefore, the very foundation of Financial Life Planning is understanding the nature, influence, and importance of your values. Here are three steps you can take to help jumpstart this process:
- Reflect on and clearly identify what is most important to you
- Allow that awareness to guide your interactions with your financial advisor
- Use your values to create a framework for establishing meaningful life goals and making choices along life’s journey
You will discover that your life satisfaction will multiply when you clarify your values and make financial decisions that align with your life goals.
Reprinted by permission of Money Quotient, Inc.