Financial Life Planning connects the dots between our financial realities and the lives we long to live. Life Planning focuses on the human side of financial planning. This is where we can tap into our inspirational fire. This is where the magic happens. The creator of this movement is George Kinder, CFP®. He is the recipient of numerous awards for leadership in the financial planning industry and is famous for his 3 Questions and the Financial Life Planning process.
EVOKE® and the Financial Planning Process
The 3 Questions are an integral part of the Kinder Institute of Life Planning’s process called EVOKE®, which stands for Exploration, Vision, Obstacles, Knowledge, and Execution. Registered Life Planners® use this mindfulness-based methodology to inspire clients to discover, articulate, and pursue their aspirations. It is much different from a typical discovery meeting in financial services. We also discuss and resolve obstacles that may exist as blockages. Instead of a traditional financial plan, our financial life plan is alive and adaptable, and we align a client’s financial resources in support of what is most meaningful in their lives.
We have to make this happen! That is how you feel once you have tapped into this process. I know this because it happened to me as well as many other clients and friends. For over 15 years, I’ve been providing financial advice and offering holistic financial planning services. In 2016, I was intrigued by George Kinder’s educational program for advisors and accountants and signed up for the journey.
Clarity. Focus. Inspirational Fire.
To become a Registered Life Planner®, part of the intensive training program includes going through the methodology personally. I began at the beginning, answered the 3 questions, and completed a financial inventory exercise. I then went through the EVOKE® process with another planner for five intense days. During the rounds of personal dialogue and interaction with your life planner—it hits you. Clarity. Focus. Inspirational fire. The things, people, principles, and dreams that matter most to you are front and center during this process, and you realize that your life needs to change if you aren’t living the life you were meant to live. It was also surprising that it all seems very attainable, rather than an unrecognizable longing that resides in your head.
We would need a longer article to go through all the amazing details, which I’ll spare you—except that since 2016, my whole life has changed both personally and professionally. Within a few months, I moved my residence and was inspired to make other changes step by step. Looking back since then, so much has changed. Life is fun. My heart is full. I have a beautiful son and have enjoyed being a mom. It is wonderful being a business owner instead of an employee. When your torch is lit, your eyes are bright, and many aspects of life seem to fall into place.
The 3 Questions
I encourage everyone reading this to be open to possibilities in general and take some time to answer George Kinder’s famous 3 questions. Before you begin, find a quiet and peaceful space and take a few moments to settle in for the exercise.
- Question #1. Imagine that you are financially secure and have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future. The question is, how would you live your life—would you change anything? Let yourself go. Don’t hold back on your dreams.
- Describe a life that is complete, that is richly yours.
- Question #2. This time you visit your doctor, who tells you you have only 5–10 years to live. The good part is that you won’t ever feel sick. The bad news is that you will have no notice of the moment of your death.
- What will you do in the time you have remaining to live?
- Will you change your life, and how will you do it?
- Question #3. This time your doctor shocks you with the news that you have only one day left to live. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality. Ask yourself:
- What did I miss?
- Who did I not get to be?
- What did I not get to do?
For those who would like to explore the life planning process more deeply, check out the website www.lifeplanningforyou.com or read George Kinder’s book, Life Planning for You. If you prefer one-on-one guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact me to learn more about how I can help inspire you on your journey and manage your financial life.
Dana R. Mascalo CFP®, RLP®, AAMS®, C(k)P® is a Managing Partner with TrinityPoint Wealth, an independent Investment Advisory firm in Milford, CT, and Charlotte, NC. Dana advises high-net-worth clients with complex needs and is sought after by individuals, families, business owners, and executives all over CT and the United States. Acting as their personal CFO, Dana looks at a client’s entire financial life with a visionary lens, advising on investment portfolios, retirement planning, stock options, life transitions, exit planning for business owners, customized advanced cash-flow planning, and multi-generational wealth transfer strategies.
This material presented is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for personalized investment advice or as a recommendation or solicitation of any particular security, strategy, or investment product. TrinityPoint Wealth, nor its investment advisory representatives are permitted to provide legal or tax advice, and nothing contained in these materials should be taken as legal or tax advice.