MY TWO CENTS:
Our last edition of MTC discussed the idea of “purposeful planning” and the “Now what?” question that ensues from that idea. In this edition, we’re going to talk about next steps necessary to make progress with your purposeful planning.
As you consider the idea of personal purpose and the areas of your life that are of highest priority, the next area of consideration should be what needs to happen for you to truly pursue that purpose and focus on those priorities. Determining next steps is where the plan comes in.
As we start the financial planning process, we always begin with the question, “Where are you now?” That question is, of course, related to all of the data points like income, expenses, assets, and liabilities. It is also related to priorities and purpose when we ask, “In what areas of life are you spending more time, effort, and energy than you desire?”
We then progress to where you would like to go. As with any competent financial planner, that is usually inclusive of items like future income goals, reduced debt load targets, increased asset levels, and intentional generosity. We also like to know into what areas of life you’re interested in investing more of yourself. Is it more time with kids or grandkids? Is it more active involvement with your friends, church, or community? Is it using your special gifts and talents to bless someone, or some organization, you would like to see succeed in their pursuits?
This process develops a framework in which a comprehensive plan can be built. Yes, that plan will likely have assumptions of inflation, asset growth rates, income needs, tax implications, and estate planning strategies. It should also have a specific set of steps to build your confidence that those assumptions will actually come to fruition. We like to call that a Roadmap!
And…if you’ll fully embrace the process…those next steps ought to be very clear about how the data, assumptions, and desired results allow you to live the purpose about which you’re dreaming. You will find the power of any plan is in the life of intention it allows you to live!
Make it a great week!
Scott Cousino, CFP®