First of all we call it Life Style Financial Planning because we want not only help you achieve the life style and future goals for retirement, but we want to encourage you live the life style goals you have right now.
Secondly, I am not sure how people plan on retiring with out a financial plan. There are so many twists and turns during life. We currently have 9 financial pitfalls that could potentially affect our clients and we test for them in our Life Style Financial Plan. I have people that ask me all the time, “How much money do I need to retire?”. I always answer with, “I don’t know. How much do you spend?”. I also have people that come to me with spread sheets and say that they have a plan. First of all you should know that I live a lot of my life based on spread sheets and I live them. However, I do not use them for financial planning. Life, markets and economies are dynamic and spread sheets are static. Life, markets and economies fluctuate up and down year to year. They need to be monitored and reviewed on a constant basis. This why we like to meet more than once a year to update client’s life changes and also review the changes in the markets and economy. We also break our Life Style Financial Plan into two parts, “TODAY’s Life Style” and “TOMORROW’s Life Style”.
“TODAY’S” life style focused on your current spending, not retirement. We learn and record our client relationship’s core values and their life style goals. The we encourage them to make financial decisions based on their values and their life style goals. We provide tools that help track spending and help with communication between spouses. We can also follow during our reviews to help you keep your spending focused on your values and life style goals. For full disclosure, I have a about a 30 items that I track in my “budget”. However, there are 5 areas that my wife and I struggled with as a couple. “TODAY’s” Life Style Financial Plan has saved me time, money and stress in my marriage.
“TOMORROW’S” life style is focused on when a person retires. This is the more traditional part of financial planning. This is the part where we project the costs of your current spending, cost of future goals and the returns of your investments. We automatically create 12 scenarios, that include possible economic or market challenges. We can also add in customized scenarios like retiring early, when to take social security, show we buy a house or what if we retired some where south. Each scenario has a probability of success. Over the years we will work together to minimize the risk of the market and economic issues and maximize what you want in your retirement.
We also have different sub components of financial planning depending on the goals and needs of our clients. These areas would include tax planning/tax efficiency, college planning, planning to retire early, and wealth transfer/estate planning.