We all have goals in life that we want to achieve. Most of these goals are predictable - like Children's education, a home, vacations, comfortable retirement etc. We spend our waking hours, working for a living. We are justifiably proud when we are able to provide the creature comforts to our family. Our goals keep moving up, up & away. The shifting goalposts of life ensures that we are constantly on the treadmill of working some more to earn more. But, is there all there is to life?
Are we simply a earning machine that would provide money for the family? Is that the purpose of life?
We do get these questions in our mind, once in a while. While we cannot brush aside the material aspects of life, these activities do not bring in the satisfaction, happiness, fulfillment & self-actualisation. We need those things which may make our life worth living. Lots of times, these things do not require a lot of money. An example would be learning a new musical instrument or starting on Yoga. It could be philanthropic activities which could bring in the joy of giving.
In life planning we seek to understand what is important to the client & how the true heart's core things can be integrated while doing financial planning. In life planning, we would seek to put our client in touch with what they truly desire in life and help them get in touch with what would bring in happiness & meaning in their lives. Once that is uncovered, these can be incorporated into the financial plan so that the resulting plan is both financially fulfilling & help the client achieve deep fulfillment which makes life worth living.
A financial plan essentially looks at where we are, where we want to go and how to get there.
It is easy to understand "Where we are". The difficult part is "where we want to go", which is what we were discussing. Uncovering the real life goals and then planning for it is what a Life Plan is all about. A qualified Life Planner would have the knowhow & expertise to engage a client, delve deep inside themselves and come up with goals/actions that have meaning to them & are passionate about. That would make them happy.and would make their life worth living. Getting this right is critical. Once we have understood what our client is passionate about, what is meaningful for them and what brings them happiness, the goals will spring out of that understanding. These would be the real meaningful goals to plan for. Only then, the plan that comes out would make sense. A plan created with this understanding is unlikely to go astray as it captures goals & outcomes, we really care about.
Hence, life planning improves the quality of outcomes that a financial plan produces and makes the client truly fulfilled & excited about their tomorrows!
Please go through the following articles, Mr.Suresh Sadagopan has written on Life Planning for Firstpost, Moneycontrol & India Today -
A Life planning approach empowers & elevates and makes life worth living!