Helping Clients to Move from “Change” to “Transition”

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Life is a continuum—an accumulation of experiences that makes us who we are and influences how we view ourselves and the world around us. As we review these experiences, we realize that our lives have been permeated with change, and the same is also true for our financial planning clients!  In fact, as ironic as it may seem, change is really the only constant in our lives.

William Bridges, author and preeminent authority on change and managing change, defines transition as the psychological process people go through to come to terms with a new situation.  Therefore, helping your clients to overcome challenges and recognize opportunities is a critical compone

nt of your holistic perspective, and a central objective in guiding your clients to successful life transitions.

It is also important to understand that making successful life transitions will require your clients to have an arsenal of both

 practical strategies and emotional fortitude.  We all encounter both expected and unexpected changes in every area of life.  However, those who are resilient are better able to navigate each change, bounce back from disappointments, and welcome new experiences.

In addition, because nearly all of life’s transitions have a financial tether, it is important to consider how you can help your clients to be more intentional about evaluating and strengthening their financial resilience. From a practical standpoint, financial resilience requires a foundation of basic financial knowledge and a strategy for building financial security. From an emotional standpoint, financial resilience requires self-awareness and self-confidence. This is achieved by helping your clients to identifying fears and behaviors that undermine their financial well-being, and by working to understand and overcome the underlying issues.

On a personal level, your life satisfaction will increase as you yourself continually seek to respond to change in healthier and more productive ways.  Similarly, your career satisfaction will increase as you guide your clients through a proven financial life planning process that focuses on helping them to navigate change and make successful life transitions.

In the world of music, the “passing note” is a note that is not part of a particular chord, but is placed between two chords to provide a smooth melodic transition from one to the other.  Likewise, it is important for you to recognize ways you can act as a “passing note” to facilitate successful transitions in our own life and in the lives of those we serve.

—Carol Anderson

Source: Money Quotient

Posted & Published with Permission of Money Quotient, NP

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Why do you need a Financial Plan…?

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Hello Everyone!

Last week, my few friends set on a Road Trip to Ladakh. They had planned each & everything properly. They jotted down the route of where to take a break & how much distance to be covered daily. They had a step by step series of maps of their planned route!

Planning your Trip is a vital thing…but have you thought of having a Financial Plan?

Reaching your Financial Goals is not less than a Trip…If you don’t know your destination, how will you know when you have arrived?

Many may wonder – “Do I really need a financial plan?” Some may feel that regularly saving in Bank RDs & investing through SIPs in Mutual Funds will do the job!

In order to become rich, you need to make your money work for yourself!

Well, a Financial Plan ensures that you are ready for the dynamic situations. Here are a few reasons depicting why having a Financial Plan is crucial.

  1. Managing Cash Flows

You definitely need a Financial Plan if you are not aware about your monthly expenses. Many people fail to understand how their monthly salaries get extinguished, leaving them with very little or absolutely nothing to save. Thus maintaining a budget is crucial to stay on track towards your long term goals!

  1. Managing Debt Efficiently

Almost every other person is under the debt of Home Loan or Car Loan…using Credit Cards is very common…People live their lives EMI to EMIs. When the liabilities turn into a debt trap, it ruins your Financial Well Being.

  1. Set the Right Asset Allocation

It is always advisable to put your eggs in different baskets. Understand your Risk Taking Ability first & allocate your resources accordingly. Moreover, it is extremely important to streamline your Investments.

  1. Set SMART Financial Goals

Write down your Financial Goals as per their time. For instance, your Short Term Goal would be in the time frame of less than 3 years & so on. This gives you a clear picture of how much you need to save for a specific goal.

  1. A Blue Print of your Life

If you don’t have road map of how to achieve your dreams, a prudently drawn financial plan can be your blue print to meet all your financial goals.

Hence financial planning is important to make your unclear pictures clear & making your desires achievable!

More Later…

 

 

Purpose drives Financial & Life Planning

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Do your clients desire to be rich? The word “rich” can be defined as possessing great material wealth, and it can also be defined as that which is abundant, meaningful, and significant. Therefore, what kind of wealth do your clients desire the most? Do they want to experience a life of riches or a rich life? 

Author Pamela York asks a similar question reflected in the title of her book, How Much is Enough? She writes, “The question is deceptively simple, but the answer is critical to integrating money with other aspects of your life and finding happiness.”

In Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us, bestselling author Daniel Pink presents the latest research in human motivation and explores how individuals establish and pursue goals. His review lead him to conclude that “satisfaction depends not merely on having goals, but on having the right goals. In other words, Pink learned that everyone (including your clients!) can dramatically increase their rate of success by first determining a meaningful and internally motivated “why” for each goal pursuit.

For evidence, Pink points to a myriad of studies based on Self-Determination Theory (SDT)―a model of human motivation that is concerned with supporting our natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways. This widely accepted model was developed by Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, psychology professors at the University of Rochester, and is now used in research around the world.

According to Deci and Ryan, goal pursuit and attainment are highly influenced by “the degree to which people are able to satisfy their basic psychological needs as they pursue and attain their valued outcomes.” These studies showed that individuals with purpose-based goals experience higher levels of satisfaction and well-being, and also reported lower levels of anxiety and depression.

Pink summarized the conclusions of the researchers in this way: “Even when we do get what we want, it’s not always what we need.” In fact, these studies revealed that what we really need is a sense of purpose. Therefore, taking time to help your clients evaluate their pursuits, based on this essential psychological need, will increase their awareness of the “why” that underlies their aspirations. This will also form a strong emotional connection to their goals and strengthen their commitment to stay on course to achieving them.

In addition, it is also important to remind your clients that money can provide more avenues or options for achieving their most cherished goals, but financial resources alone cannot produce the essential ingredients of a rich and rewarding life such as happiness, good health, loving relationships, and meaningful activities.

 

Source: Money Quotient

Posted by Permission of Money Quotient, NP.

Financial Independence- A Woman’s Power!

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Hello Everyone!

Women have turned out to be more determined in today’s world. They are bearing responsibilities of their family and are keeping pace with men in dealing with themselves socially and monetarily. They are successfully balancing their work life balance.

In the current scenario, with the changing times it is extremely important for women to become financially independent. Women won’t be able to overcome the male biases in this male dominating society unless & until they are financially independent.

In the recent past, the whole of India has been consciously giving a lot of attention to women issues, be it women empowerment, violence against women, gender inequality & so on. But, for as long as women remain financially dependent will these things result in their empowerment…?

Women are born finance managers. They manage the household budget very efficiently, isn’t it? Then why do women feel shy to handle money matters?

Here are a few points that can make women financially independent which takes them a step closer to empowering themselves.

Draw your own salary

Try to draw your own salary. A working woman obviously draws her own salary but a housewife can also work part time or establish a homemade business which will help her in generating income.

Know your Goals

Half the things become simpler once you have decided what is more important for you & your family. Once you start making decisions in the alignment to achieve them, you would feel much more confident about your overall plan.

Build your Savings

Try to save a certain amount regularly so that it would help you to build a corpus to achieve your goals. It is crucial to have your own savings so that you do not depend on anyone else. Moreover, maintaining & nurturing that wealth is also vital.

Don’t just save, Invest!

When it comes to investing, it is said to be a men’s territory, isn’t it? Well, as I said before, learn because knowledge is power! Women lack confidence when it comes to financial matters. Nothing is impossible, if you properly analyze your Risk Tolerances, Values, Time Span & Goals. By taking the time today to learn more about planning for retirement, you’ve already put yourself on the road to being a financially independent woman.

Think of your Retirement

In most cases, women outlive men. Thus, to avoid problems in future make sure that you are preparing to lead a comfortable after retirement life. You may think that your after retirement life would be less expensive, but our standard of living never takes a down turn!

Don’t get misled

Don’t get misled or influenced by banks, wealth managers and other intermediaries in the financial field. While it is important that you follow an advisor, it would be helpful to have some basic information of your own or you will be stuck with an investment which you may not need.

Women are always taught to lean on men’s resources. So women out there…Don’t Lean, Learn! This Independence Day make a pledge to become Financially Independent!

More Later…

 

Values-Based Financial and Life Planning

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The strongest foundation for the financial plans you create will always be your clients’ heightened awareness of the nature, influence, and importance of their values.  Therefore, in your discovery and data gathering activities, it is essential that you engage your clients in a process of thoughtful reflection to help them identify and clarify what is truly most important to them in all areas of life.

The next step is to allow this understanding to guide your client conversations and to provide them a values-based framework for establishing meaningful financial and life goals.   For example, you can suggest to your clients that they view their lives as being multifaceted and to think of each facet as a critical component of their unique “life portfolios.”

In addition, you can encourage this more holistic mindset by discussing each facet of their life portfolios (such as family, work, learning, leisure, and community) and asking questions that will engage them in thoughtful reflection:

  1. “What is your current level of satisfaction in this area of life?”
  2. “What do you value most in this area of life?”
  3. “What is your current level of satisfaction in this facet of your life portfolio?”
  4. “In what ways can you invest in this facet to enrich your life now?”
  5. “What ‘riches’ do you want to experience in this area of life in the future?”

Questions like these will help your clients to sharpen their focus, prioritize their goals, and develop a vision of life that is compelling and motivating.  You will also find that the clearer each client’s mental picture of the future becomes, the easier it will be for them to make financial and life decisions that will naturally move them toward achieving that image.

Nearly two decades ago, Kris Arzen wrote about the benefits of values-based financial planning, and her insight and advice is even more relevant and important today:

“… when you know the who, what, and why about your client, you do them the greatest service by designing plans that help them address those values.  Doesn’t it make sense that the client would want to act on those ideas faster than they would act to buy a particular mutual fund or life insurance policy? That is because you have been able to frame the plan in terms of their life.  They told you what’s important and you listened.”

There is a lot of truth to the old saying, “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there.”  This is equivalent to living life without a rudder and can be wholly unsatisfying.   Therefore, as you help your clients to plan for the future, you can position yourself as a trusted advisor by encouraging them to envision and articulate the various elements they want to include in their customized life portfolios.  Whatever they identify and claim for themselves will act as an internal compass, guiding both financial and non-financial decisions they make along life’s journey. And, most importantly, as they purposefully and progressively make room in their lives for what is most meaningful to them, the degree of satisfaction and fulfillment they experience will grow and multiply.

Source: Money Quotient

Used by permission of Money Quotient, NP

Are you using your Salary Productively?

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Hello Everyone!

Most of us when started working had a Wish List ready in our minds…probably a dream that we have carried throughout our lives!

Today’s post is for the young generation who have just started earning & building their Life!

Right from the first day at work, you did your mental math about how, when, and where you were going to spend your first salary. Your first salary might have been the most anticipated event of your life, isn’t it?

“Your Salary has been credited to your Account”…is the message you receive.

After 30 days of hard work, when you finally receive your salary…the joy is knew no bounds!

But what would you do with it? Splurge the entire sum or save some?

It is natural for the young generation to splurge first salary on various fancies! Their life goals and achievements are influenced by peer pressure, and to tick-mark their social media checklist of keeping up with the herd. But you can never afford to ignore the importance of time and value of money!

The young generation believes in the Mantra…’Work hard & Party harder!’ Most of them ignore saving money for their future goals which gets them in trouble in their later years!

Thus, you need to use your Salary productively.

  1. Budgeting

Budgeting is the first step to lead a healthy Financial Life. All it needs is discipline on your part.
Hence, make a note of all your sources of income and expenses. Make a list of unavoidable expenses such as gas bill, electricity bill, groceries & so on. These days, various apps have been introduced to trail down your expenses. Hence, seek the help of such applications and plan your salary accordingly.

  1. Focus on Saving More

Earn. Save. Spend.

Warren Buffet rightly said… “Don’t save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after savings”.

No matter how big or small or your Pay Check is, inculcate the habit of saving! Your friends might go out every weekend & splurge…but you need to ask yourself can I afford it? Bring in a little change in your Lifestyle & you will be able to save more. Saving alone is not enough…Invest your money in proper assets so that your money can grow! Start investing from an early stage so that you can get compounding benefits.

  1. Pay off your Debts

In case you have any kind of Liabilities like, Education Loan, Home Loan, Car Loan & so on…try to clear off the debts as soon as possible. With this, you will be able to save on the high interest expense.

  1. Buy an Insurance Policy

Insurance plays a vital role in your life. Insurance is the major area wherein you can be misled. So make it a point to purchase an Insurance Policy which will suit you & fulfill your Needs.

  1. Use Credit Card Wisely

Credit Cards are like a Life Saving Jacket for the Millenials. But they tend to satisfy their urge of buying unnecessary things & turning a blind eye towards their affordability! Use it wisely so that it won’t get you in trouble & disturb your Financial Well Being.

Your first salary is likely to be the smallest amount you will earn in your work-life cycle…but you will cherish that for the rest of your life! So, spend on creating experiences for a life-time and inculcate the habit of saving. Draw a saving & spending pattern of your Salary right at the beginning so that you will be disciplined for the rest of your lives!

More Later…

 

Is Inheritance hassle free?

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Hello Everyone!

For the most of our lives, we have we have worked hard to build Wealth that can sustain us & our families. Have you ever wondered what would happen to all this Wealth after you…?

Mortality is unavoidable! Death is certain, no matter what. And the best thing you can do for your family is to have a Succession Plan in place!

Well, Succession Planning is passing down the Assets from one generation to another. It is wrongly interpreted that it is meant only for the Rich Class. In fact, it is essential for everyone irrespective of how much wealth one has!

The Basics of Succession Planning are as follows:

  1. Make a Will Immediately

The most important thing is to make a Will. Old age comes with several physical & mental illness, so it is advisable to prepare a Will when you are in a sound condition. You can keep on changing the Will as Time passes by & your Assets change. A Will can be registered or unregistered….but is better to have the Will registered.

  1. Discuss your Finances with the family

You need to adopt a free culture in your house wherein you sit & talk out your personal lives together. Similarly, you should discuss your Finances with your parents & kids. Your family should be aware about your finances. Your family needs to be aware of all your debts, and a plan must be in place to repay the debt. In case of any unfortunate situation, they must know a way out!

  1. Keep all the Financial Documents together

Always keep your Financial Documents together in one place. Inform your Spouse about it. Moreover, keep all Login IDs & Password in a secured place.

  1. Inform your Nominees

Make sure that you inform your Nominees that their names have been put as Nominees. Many a times, the Nominees are not aware which creates a big problem!

Thus, make it a hassle free process of inheritance for your loved ones after your demise!

More Later…