Dart in bullseye representing a financial coach helping someone achieve their goals

Planning for Bliss: Marriage, Housing, Children, and Education

JUNE 27, 2020 | FAMILY

Gold, for the instant, lost its lustre in his eyes, for there were countless treasures of the heart which it could never purchase.” – Charles Dickens, Nicholas Nickleby

Uncle Scrooge only got the meaning of life when it was almost too late; most of us will not forsake plans for marriage, children and education. Why not make these angelic plans as fulfilling as possible and as likely to succeed? This takes calculations, perseverance and sacrifice of immediate interests.


Sure, one can get married cheaply in Las Vegas or the County Offices. But most brides, grooms and family members try to make the wedding day their most meaningful in all of life. We celebrate our connection in poetry, house it in ornate chapels or refined wilds, warm it with friendship and extended family, toast it with champagne and gourmet delicacies, serenade it with gentle music, officiate it with law and consecrate it with holy ceremony. This gift deserves savings and the life planner knows how to budget savings and, with time, invest for bliss. Only for curiosity would we show you the tax consequences of marriage.


Home ownership for most is a lifestyle decision; does your family prefer the independent feeling of private ownership in return for the responsibilities of making payments and caring for the physical property? But if this feeling doesn’t matter, it certainly pays to contrast the economics of renting to the economics of homeownership.

If financial therapy seeks the causes and underlying cures for financial challenges, financial coaching is the patient science which makes the greatest difference in people’s lives.  The planner, working on retainer, chooses to affirm the best in each client’s life, avoiding fearful policies while listening carefully for new commitments clients want to make.  Policies emerge to protect values with general rules–exceptions noted–like “buy term and invest the difference” or “tithe ten per cent to charity.”

Policies enable savings and destroy debt.  Savings withdrawal policies can even let you stay in growth stocks into old age with a high probability of superior results.


Most of us have the desire to create wonderful beings like ourselves and to raise them as best we can. As planners, we can help by considering appropriate family health, disability and life insurance policies to protect those we love most. In the end, the gift of estate planning may wisely better these children’s or grandchildren’s lives.


From a financial perspective, education may be the best and most expensive gift one can give.  I don’t know whether my own life was bettered most by the three European trips my parents took me on in childhood, by private school or by the Oxford experience, but I do know I valued education above all and am teaching to give back to others.  I can plan savings programs and financial aid strategies for your children (or you) with specific universities in mind.

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”
– Victor Hugo, Les Misérables