Consider the following:
- If you had all the money you needed for the rest of your life, how would you live, what would you do?
- If you only had 5-10 years left to live, but would live as healthy as you are right now, how would you live your life, what would shift, what would you do?
- If the doctor shocked you with the realization that you only had 24 hours left to live, considering all your dreams and plans, all the things you had imagined accomplishing, what did you miss, what did you not get to do, who did you not get to be?
“It’s usually in the answers to question 3 that our most important life goals present themselves. If we are on fire to accomplish those, and combine them with a sensible approach to finance, our money dilemmas fade as problems, and become elements in accomplishing who we most want to be, says George Kinder, founder of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning, and author of Life Planning For You. Kinder has all of his clients think about these questions before he helps them create a financial blueprint:
While the questions may not seem directly linked to your financial well-being in the way that something like a budget would be, they should be the cornerstone and foundation for any financial plan. They’re about getting real with the fact that saving and managing money for the sake of saving and managing money, or because of a ‘fear of lack’ rarely, if ever, motivates us to change the patterns and choices that keep getting us into trouble.
“Once you’ve done the groundwork, you are ready to take on the world of money. The next step is not so much about stability and security as it is about aspirations that feel most true to your character, your authenticity,” says Kinder.
“The next step is not so much about stability and security as it is about aspirations that feel most true to your character, your authenticity. What is it you most aspire to? Once that is clear, then apply the economics required to make it happen,” he adds.
Kinder says aspirations classically fall into five categories.
- Family and relationship
- Creativity (including entrepreneurial)
- Spirit and Values
- Place or Environment
Getting clear on your ideals and priorities in these areas clears the way for you to create a plan that channels your resources to what really matters, and live a life that reflects who you really are.
You can go to Kinder’s free consumer website and create your life plan.