Living Your Values - Financial Life Planning
In the process of asking clients to talk about their own life story in the context of their finances we've found that for most people the story focuses remarkably little on saving and investing. Instead, the key chapters of their stories are oriented around working and spending decisions, so that investing and saving are simply a byproduct of the decisions in those other categories.
In turn, the key turning points for most people were moments that entailed significant financial trade-offs:
- from the decision to live close to home or far away
- send children to public or private school
- take a high-paying stressful job over a lower-stress one with less pay
- pursuing job stability versus starting a new business.
Yet even in these situations the financial or money aspects of the decision are generally not the driver of the choice; instead, consumers try to make such decisions to align with their personal values. We all strive toward our ideal selves and then try to assess the financial consequences of the desired choice.
From the perspective of traditional planning and wealth management, research suggest that our typical savings-and-investment-centric focus is not actually how most consumers think through their financial issues and make significant life decisions. Instead, savings and investment are the outcomes of those other working and spending-related life decisions.
This means giving truly effective financial advice requires de-emphasizing portfolios and making contributions to them. We've always believed that good planning starts by focusing on a client’s personal values and that financial decisions flow from the pursuit of non-financial life goals.
At Vested Wealth we are committed to helping our clients live better lives by doing the tough work of identifying the most meaningful goals first and then helping create a plan that puts them on a path to their goals by optimizing human and financial resources. In this way, clients can stay motivated when they see the relevance of their financial plan to achieving their dream life.