What is Financial Life Planning?

Financial life planning is all about self-discovery and self-improvement for flourishing lives.  

Also holistically dubbed “integral finance,” it is simply a “better way of doing financial planning which considers life issues and attitudes about money before giving advice,” (Roy Dilberto).  I listen, build trust, and interview effectively to help you feel understood even when the issues are delicate and connected with your dreams and those of cherished ones. I do not just assume you want the mechanistic goals of paying fewer taxes and earning more returns, but that you ask, like the Bard: “What Dreams May Come?” 

We will optimize your chances of fulfilling your dreams by creating “financial architecture” to bolster your financial freedom. I reject the idea that financial planning is simply a hydraulic exercise of math equations and pseudo-scientific emphasis on financial predictions that result in an oft-ignored graphical presentation.  The life planning approach certainly considers exterior finance issues as they hit the news – taxes, recessions, wars and estate laws – but also focuses on an interior life enshrined in open-ended and free-flowing conversations about financial goals and dreams.  Life planning connects finance with psychology; a financial advisor coaches and nurtures for the betterment of the client. As a financial advisor and coach I engage in:

  1. Connective listening to see how your social, cultural or religious background shape your views. (The “We” in finance.)
  2. Money history studies: What money memories affect your current attitudes about savings, risk, etc.? (The “I” from childhood.)
  3. Money meaning stories: Does money bring freedom, power guilt, social connection, security, etc.?  (The “I” of the present.)
  4. Financial coaching to realize your financial goals. (The “I” going forward.)

Carol Anderson and Deanna Sharpe found that clients who thought their advisor helped them find meaningful personal goals were far more likely to follow planning recommendations and give referrals. “This model of service delivery uses a collaborative, client-centered approach to communication that integrates a client’s values-based life goals with their financial goals.” In this “wisdom business,” financial life planning is the “science of happiness.”

The value of our advice will improve in proportion to the knowledge we have of our clients.” — Roy Dilberto