Benjamin Franklin once said, “Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.” Most planners are trained to accumulate assets for clients. But today, as the baby boomer population grows and life expectations lengthen, more of planners’ conversations are revolving around financial life planning.
With financial life planning, planners engage in holistic wealth management, helping clients articulate and document their vision of the financial future, beyond investment management to aspirations and goals. Do they want to make sure their family is cared for beyond their time here? Do they want to give more time and money to a particular cause? Do they seek something greater than themselves?
“The planning implication is that the person is the focus of attention, not the portfolio,” says Paula H. Hogan, an independent financial planner in Milwaukee who specializes in financial life planning. Potential clients, however, “still come in and think it’s all about portfolio management and nothing more.”
Hogan, who has served on the national boards of the Financial Planning Association and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, sees financial planning as “the lifelong process of integrating personal values with the management of both human and financial capital for the betterment of self and the community.”
Financial life planning usually takes into account a client’s family, a spouse, their children and grandchildren. This more-inclusive approach is typically important to upper-income investors and can be particularly helpful to clients near retirement or already in retirement.
Read more from Financial Planning here.