For the Holidays, Skip the Silk Tie and Do Something that Will Change Your Life

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Financial life planning helps you start living the life thatÂ?s calling you Â? beginning now.

You know that little voice calling you to a different life? Most people do not think that what they hear is anything more than distraction or daydreaming. What if that little voice was pointing to some potential in you, some addition to your life that you could make real? What if you could include “the real you” – those aspects of yourself that you cherish and want to nurture – and enjoy a much richer and fulfilling life? Not when you collect your first Social Security check – but now or within the next few years.

Financial Life Planners are trained to help you clarify not just your money goals but your true heart’s core desires. Better yet, by working with a Financial Life Planner you can shift the focus of your life and find ways to start living the life that calls to you.

If you are …

  •     A Wall Street banker who really wants to teach history
  •     An accountant who yearns to become a Rabbi
  •     An insurance salesman who wants to own a charter boat
  •     An administrative assistant who dreams of writing The Great American Novel
  •     A physician who longs to help children in third-world countries
  •     A traveling consultant who longs to stay home with his family
  •     A corporate manager who wants to start a catering company
  •     A family that dreams of having a summer home in Colorado

… then read on, my friend. Financial Life Planning is for you.


Financial Life Planning is a special mixture of financial planning and life planning. In fact, you may be surprised to know that Financial Life Planning has just celebrated its tenth anniversary.

According to some of the financial planning industry’s most respected and influential people, Financial Life Planning delivers that “added something” that traditional financial planning doesn’t even attempt to provide. And, because properly trained Financial Life Planners are both financial planners and life planners, they can deliver the professional money guidance that life coaches alone can’t.

While you may be familiar with traditional financial planning or already be working with an advisor of some sort, you might want to take a trip to see a Financial Life Planner and experience the difference for yourself. You just might find the support you need to get started now, taking the steps that will support the realization of your most closely held dreams.

“Traditional financial planning focuses on spreadsheets and rates-of-returns and numbers, whereas in Financial Life Planning our focus is on you, your dreams, your most profound desires. Then (and only then) do we focus on how financial skills will deliver what you long for. We arrive at your dreams not by asking you what your financial goals are but through a series of Three Questions that get at what your most profound wishes and heart's desires are. Usually the answer to the deepest question becomes the focus of the financial life plan,” says George D. Kinder, CFP®.

Kinder, author of "The Seven Stages of Money Maturity," a book that helps people gain more power around money and create the life they’ve always wanted, is widely acknowledged as the founding father of the financial life planning movement. A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with over thirty years’ experience counseling clients, Kinder is “one of the top 25 most influential people in financial planning” (Investment Advisor magazine, June 2003). A Financial Life Planner who practices what he preaches, Kinder along with his wife and twin daughters splits his time between a home in rural Massachusetts and a second lovely home in Hawaii. Kinder spends his mornings meditating, writing poetry, taking long walks and spending time with his family. Afternoons are spent tending to the needs of his financial planning clients, preparing for speeches and Life Planning courses, writing business works and talking to journalists about the Kinder Institute of Life Planning (

“Studies suggest we make three times the income of our grandparents, yet we are no happier than they were,” says Kinder. “Cleary, something is wrong with our relationship to money. Financial Life Planning is the first financial advisory profession that aims to set that right – and make us happier. Financial Life Planners know that prosperity is about more than just goal attainment and having enough money to pay the mortgage, put the kids through college, maintain your lifestyle and get through retirement without a sense of impending doom,” he says. “Financial Life Planners will take your most profound dreams and help you figure out how to make them into reality.”

Okay. So now you’re listening to that little voice in your head with a bit more respect. What’s calling to you? Do you want to write the great American novel, spend the next 6 years at home with your kids, retire early, or reinvent yourself by becoming a Rabbi or playing in a rock and roll band? Sure beats slaving way at that endlessly dreary job. Go ahead, dream big!

But wait – do you have a financial advisor who will focus on what your deepest life dreams are, or do they just focus on the numbers, and traditional retirement, investment and insurance goals?

“Nearly everyone who has worked for a living holds out the hope, even the expectation, that someday-one-day they will be able to retire and become that ‘other person’ they’ve imagined themselves to be,” says Kinder. “A properly trained Financial Life Planner will partner with you, bringing out your heart’s core values and creating a plan that moves you closer, quicker, to your dreams. We want you to start living the live that’s calling you – sooner rather than later – and are trained to create the plan and implement the strategies that will accelerate the plan and support you on your journey,” he says.

The most common categories for the financial life plan are: family, spirit, creativity and community -- in that order. “These are things most financial planners have tossed off as qualitative and not the province of financial planning,” explains Kinder. “In Financial Life Planning, these things become the focus of the plan. We should always be asking ourselves: How can we use money skills to deliver what we most profoundly wish for, rather that the usual claptrap of material things?”

What type of results can one expect as a part of the financial life planning process?

  •     A healed relationship with a spouse or children might mean a 35-hour workweek instead of a 60-hour weekly grind.
  •     To play the guitar like Eric Clapton, or write a sweeping novel like Tolstoy or Toni Morison, or achieve a greater level of personal balance, may require downsizing the home or moving to a less expensive neighborhood.

  •     To have greater integrity and authenticity in one’s life may require changing one's occupation, or negotiating a different job with one's employer.

  •     A life worth living might include more time for friends, family and charitable work or volunteer contributions.
  •     A new mindset about what work and contribution could mean for you during the “golden years” could propel you forward with renewed vigor.


Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or Winter Solstice, which would you rather have? A laptop computer – or your heart's true desire? That's what Financial Life Planning delivers. It's the gift of a life you love.

450 advisors from every corner of the country are listed on as having been trained in Life Planning. Each of them has received anywhere from 16 to over 200 hours of in-depth training in how to help clients identify what they truly want out of life, and then to help their clients deliver on their dreams. Most of the life planners listed on the site are CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals (CFP) or credentialed through some other leg of the financial advisory profession.

So instead of, or perhaps in addition to, that Handspring Treo, give yourself a trip to a financial life planner, and literally give yourself the gift of life.

Susan Galvan, Executive Director

Phone: (925) 989-1078


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