MY TWO CENTS:
In our world of financial planning, we’re frequently talking about cash-flow planning or goals-based planning. In cash flow planning, our aim is to ensure that current and future cash flow is sufficient to provide for expected lifestyle needs and wants. Goals-based planning is similar in that it aims to achieve something in the future, with the difference being the achievement of a specific goal (read: purchase, account balance, etc.) versus the cash flow necessary to provide for the lifestyle.
Now that my inner nerd is showing a bit, please allow me to share another planning perspective with you: purposeful planning. When we engage in a purposeful planning process we look to expand the conversation from cash flow, asset, or goal management to life management. This effectively allows us to develop a plan by which your money serves your life and highest priorities versus your life serving the pursuit or management of money.
I’ll offer a quick story as a means of application of this idea. I had lunch with a business owner friend recently who was sharing some of the progress he has made in his business. His business is nearing the point at which his day-to-day involvement is not necessary for the business to function effectively. He can now see pretty clearly the freedom he’ll have to pursue other interests in his life once that milestone has been achieved.
This leads us to the question of, “Now what?” Now that he has achieved the milestone of independence from day-to-day business obligations, in what endeavors will he engage himself? Will it be fun, leisure, the next business idea, or even leveraging his gifts, talents, and influence for the benefit of his community? Will it be all of those items in differing degrees at different times over the ensuing stages of life?
The point is that he has been executing his purposeful plan that creates other unforeseen opportunities, including the opportunity to consider new ideas. And, that is why I get so excited about purposeful planning. It allows us to advocate for those we serve in a way that allows us to ask the question, “Now what?”
Since everyone’s purpose is different, our job never gets boring. In fact, I don’t know of anything more exciting than being alongside someone that is living out their purpose and focusing on their priorities. That usually means they are living out of a place of personal passion which has great positive influence on those around them. Again, a bit of my inner nerd showing…but I absolutely LOVE that idea!!
Make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®