First of all, we call it Lifestyle Financial Planning because we want to not only help you achieve the lifestyle and future goals for retirement, but we want to encourage you live the lifestyle 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 11 “financial pitfalls” that could potentially affect our clients, and we test for them in our Lifestyle 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. You should probably know that I live a lot of my life based on spread sheets and I love 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 and need to be monitored and reviewed on a constant basis. This why we like to meet more than once a year to update our clients’ life changes and review the changes in the markets and economy. We also break our Lifestyle Financial Plan into two parts, “TODAY’s Lifestyle” and “TOMORROW’s Lifestyle”.
“TODAY’S” Lifestyle focused on your current spending, not retirement. We learn and record our client relationship’s core values and their lifestyle goals. Then we encourage them to make financial decisions based on these values and goals. We provide tools that help track spending, and help with communication between spouses. We can also help you keep your spending focused on your values and lifestyle goals. For full disclosure, I have about 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” Lifestyle Financial Plan has saved me time, money and stress in my marriage.
“TOMORROW’S” Lifestyle 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 11 scenarios that include possible economic or market challenges. We can also add in customized scenarios like retiring early, when to take social security, when to buy a house or what happens 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.