Last year, I wrote a post titled, “Three Questions That Can Change Your Life“. The post looked at the concept of “life planning”, an approach to financial planning developed by the The Kinder Institute that is based on the premise that advisors should first discover a client’s most essential goals in life before formulating a financial plan, so a client’s finances fully support those goals.
In order to discover such goals, George Kinder, the founder of the Kinder Institute, suggests that its advisers ask potential clients the following three questions:
- Imagine you have enough money to satisfy all of your needs, now and in the future. Would you change your life and, if so, how would you change it?
- This time, assume you are in your current financial situation. Your doctor tells you that you only have five to 10 years to live, but that you will feel fine up until the end. Would you change your life and, if so, how would you change it?
- Your doctor tells you that you have just one day to live. You look back at your life. What did you miss out on? Who did you not get to be? What did you fail to do?
Today I read a story by Ron Lieber in the New York Times titled, “7 Essential Money Questions Sure to Start a Conversation” that also takes a look at the type of questions that should be asked when doing a financial plan.
- What lessons about money did you learn from your parents?
- What does the word “money” conjure up for you?
- How many children would you like to have when you retire?
- How do you think your children feel about that?
- Tell me about your financial situation when you first met (for couples).
- What are the most important things in your life?
- What does the prospect of retirement look like to you?
When combined with the three questions from the Kinder Institute, these questions can really help a person figure out what is important to them.
And once you know what is important to you, it makes it easier to start mapping out what you need to do financially, socially, mentally, and physically in order to live the life you intended, one that is filled with meaning and purpose.
And if you’re wondering when you will find the time to answer such questions, the title of yesterday’s post provides the answer, “Do It Now“.