George Kinder is a pioneer of the “Life Planning” process, which is designed to address the purpose behind your money. It answers “What are your values?” When you know that, you will know whether you are using your resources, not just money - but also time and energy, to further those values.
He suggests that you answer three specific questions to help you understand your “why.” If you are married, you should each answer the questions independently and then discuss.
#1 – Help you design the life you want
I want you to imagine that you are financially secure, that you have enough money to take care of your needs, now and in the future. The question is, how would you live your life? What would you do with the money? Would you change anything? Let yourself go. Don’t hold back your dreams. Describe a life that is complete, that is richly yours.
#2 – Reveal what’s really important
This time, you visit your doctor who tells you that you have five to ten years left to live. The good part is that you won’t ever feel sick. The bad news is that you will have no notice of the moment of your death. What will you do in the time you have remaining to live? Will you change your life, and how will you do it?
*This is not supposed to imply that you have unlimited financial resources at your disposal.
#3 – Help you reevaluate priorities
Finally, imagine that your doctor shocks you with the news that you only have 24 hours to live. Notice what feelings arise as you confront your very real mortality. Ask yourself: What did you miss? Who did you not get to be? What did you not get to do?
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized investment, tax or legal advice. We suggest that you discuss your specific situation with a qualified investment, tax or legal advisor. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) or strategies may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.