When SMART Goals Are Not Always Wise

Many of us have been taught about setting goals through the use of the SMART acronym.  The theory is that in order to be successful in our pursuits, our goals must be: Specific  Measurable  Attainable  Realistic  Tangible  However, for most financial planning clients, this goal setting template is rigid and uninspiring.  It puts the concept […]

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

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, […]

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Purpose Drives Financial and Life Planning

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 […]

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Values-Based Financial and Life Planning

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 […]

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Boomers and the Meaning of Life

In terms of adult development theory, turning 50 is typically a time in life when individuals rethink the direction their lives are taking, confront their own mortality, and dare to ask themselves, “Am I really happy?”   However, what distinguishes Baby Boomers from previous generations is that they wear their mid-life angst on their sleeves. […]

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When it Comes to Change, Your Client (and You!) Are of Two Minds

*Be sure to read the author’s note and special announcement at the end of this blog post! In the Happiness Hypothesis, psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote that long ago he developed a metaphor to help him make sense of his often self-sabotaging behaviors: The image that I came up with for myself, as I marveled at […]

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The Psychology of Giving

Although a number of studies have focused on the effect of income on happiness, Elizabeth Dunn, a socialpsychologist at the University of British Columbia, also wanted to understand the effect of spending choices on happiness.

For example, previous research clearly demonstrated that income has a predictably positive effect on level of happiness, but these levels remain flat over time even as income increased. This finding puzzled Dunn and she wanted to find out why happiness did not increase along with income.

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Defining the “Why” of Your Clients’ Goals

Failing to reach personal and financial goals can be both frustrating and disheartening for your clients. And, to make matters worse, they often realize that they are their own worst enemies when it comes to sabotaging their dreams.  However, research has shown that your clients can dramatically increase their rate of success by first determining a meaningful and internally motivated “why” for each goal pursuit.

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The 3 R’s of a Successful Retirement Transition: Resiliency, Resourcefulness, and Renaissance Spirit

Individuals and retirement planning experts alike are recognizing that a successful and satisfying retirement experience depends on more than a healthy nest egg. In fact, financial reporter John Wasik contends, “Financial security and retirement are not the two peas in the pod they used to be.”

Instead, retirement should be thought of as a major life transition that deserves thought and preparation in all areas of life. For example, one study found that it was the size of a retiree’s social network—and not the size of his or her portfolio—that had the strongest influence on life satisfaction.

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