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Bringing Life and Money Together

What does financial planning mean to you? When I tell people I’m a financial planner, they nod politely pretending to know what that means. There’re so many ways to interpret “financial planning.” To me, all it really means is living the best life you can with the money you have. In that sense, it’s not about helping you become a Millionaire or retire from a job you hate, it’s about bringing life and money together.

The philosophy most people have is they’re supposed to save for 40 years to quit their job and retire to play golf and lay on the beach. There are so many studies that prove that this lifestyle isn’t sustainable. That you get bored shortly after to find some other “work” to keep life interesting.

But what if we find a balance between “vocation” and “vacation?” Instead of focusing on the magic age of 55, 60, or 65 to retire, you focus on finding a way to continue work you enjoy, because you want to, not because you need to.

What am I trying to say? Many times, we set these arbitrary financial goals, such as retiring at a certain age, having a house by a certain age, or having a certain lifestyle. But we never take the time to question where these goals came from. Most of them were just placed onto us by our culture. When you start planning your finances centered around your life, as opposed to these arbitrary financial goals, there is a lot less pressure and it becomes a lot more fun.

We can focus on how you can align your money to do the things you want to do, with the people you want to do it with, when you want to do it. You can put money towards your work, your relationships, your own personal growth, your spirituality, your everyday pleasures while still becoming financially independent. That, in a nutshell, is what real financial planning is.

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