Realize Your Dreams Through Financial Planning
Almost a year ago an accomplished doctor and her successful businessman husband entrusted me to be their Certified Financial Planner and Private Wealth Advisor. Our first two hours working together were spent at their kitchen table talking about who they are today and who they wanted to become over time.
They described the parents they wanted to be to their young children, the partner each aspired to be to one another, and the visions they had for their respective careers. They described how they felt when it came to managing their money and what kind of financial fears kept them awake at night. We spoke briefly about the financial statements that they shared with me and we agreed to meet again in a few weeks to review the results of the financial plan that I would develop for them.
About a month later we met again in person at their kitchen table. Using the financial plan that I developed for them as a guide, we talked about how likely they were to achieve their life goals given their current savings, spending, investments, insurance, and debt management activities. We talked about the tradeoffs between saving for retirement and college and enjoying a certain standard of life today. And I suggested some specific changes that they could make to improve their likelihood of success realizing their financial dreams.
After we finished discussing their financial plan, I was deeply moved when both the wife and husband volunteered that they found the process helpful, even describing our work together as, “life changing – like marriage therapy, but the kind you want to go to because you feel better afterwards.”
That’s what holistic financial planning is all about. It starts and ends with you. It asks the question, “What do you want to do with your life” and systematically analyzes all aspects of your finances to project how likely you are to realize your ambitions. As a result of financial planning, you have information and analyses you can use to make thoughtful decisions today to create the future you want tomorrow.
Three years ago I met Jan (client’s name has been changed), a woman who had just finished going through a very difficult divorce with her husband of several decades. In our first conversation together, Jan confided that she had avoided working with someone like me because she didn’t have the clarity she thought she should have over her finances. Jan explained that her husband always took care of their money, they shared a single financial advisor, and when the divorce took place her entire world was turned upside down and she still was recovering. I assured Jan that for many clients it’s when they feel most overwhelmed by their finances that I can offer the greatest help. I emphasized that what was done in the past is behind her.
Jan and I talked about what her life had been like and how she wished it would be different. We talked about how important her grown children were to her and the financial support she wanted to provide them and her grandchildren over time. We talked about her fears about living until her mid-90s, and since she divorced in her late 60s, what living independently for 25+ years would look like. She shared with me her financial statements, and I suggested that we reconvene in a few weeks to review the results of my analysis.
When Jan and I met again, she physically looked different from the first time we spoke. Her eyes were a bit brighter and she smiled when she saw me. We spent more than an hour talking about her plan. We discussed savings and spending behaviors she would need to adopt given her new lifestyle, and we talked about how the asset allocation within her investments should change to support her needs and address her fears about outliving her assets.
After we finished discussing her plan I asked Jan if she had further questions. Jan shook her head no and her eyes welled up with tears. As they began streaming down her cheeks Jan reached out, touched my forearm, and whispered “Thank you, Caroline. You really listened to me. I am so hopeful.”
You, too, can be hopeful. You, too, can create the life you envision when you have confidence, control, and comfort over your finances. You can obtain this peace of mind when you follow your unique, integrated, holistic financial plan. Life is too short to not live with intention. Dream It. Plan It. Do It. Live your dreams through financial planning.
Caroline Wetzel is one of Natural Nutmeg’s 10Best Winners for Business/Life Coach. Caroline is a Certified Financial PlannerTM (CFP®) and Vice President, Private Wealth Advisor with Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC. Procyon Private Wealth Partners, LLC and Procyon Institutional Partners, LLC (collectively “Procyon Partners”) are registered investment advisors with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). This article is provided for informational purposes only and for the intended recipient[s] only. This article may also include opinions and forward-looking statements which may not come to pass. Information is at a point in time and subject to change. Procyon Partners does not provide tax or legal advice.