How Can I Balance My Life and My Money?
Finding a financial advisor in Lakewood, Colorado to help you create a balance in your financial life makes sense. It’s well-known that people are striving more and more to achieve work-life balance. Millennials have popularized good work-life balance as a trend, and it’s spread to all age groups. But what about money-life balance? The concept of having a good balance between your life and your money gets far less attention.
That may partly be because folks have the wrong conception of what a plan for their money is all about. A plan for your money is known as a financial plan. But to a lot of us, a financial plan is associated with a budget. A budget can sound synonymous with cutting back on every fun activity you want to do, in Lakewood and everywhere else.
Your money plan needs to be paired with your goals
But in fact, a financial plan only exists to further your life goals. In a financial plan, a budget can be understood more as a cash flow statement, itemizing what comes in and what goes out every month. You need to know so that you can adjust earning, saving or spending in line with your life goals.
In general, a comprehensive financial plan should include concrete data about your current status and your goals in the following categories:
- A budget, itemizing your monthly cash flow picture
- Retirement savings
- Educational savings for children, if any
- Risk management (appropriate insurance for your assets)
- An estate plan (a will or trust planning)
In all cases, thinking about these categories in a financial plan is a tool to help you with life-money balance, because the plan starts by determining your goals.
Life goals revolve around answers to this question: Where do you want to be 15 years from now? If you want to be in a Victorian house on five acres, then your financial plan needs to include savings for that house and property. If you want more children, then your financial plan needs to include educational saving for their upbringing. If you want to retire early, your financial plan needs to include retirement savings and vehicles that will get you there.
What are your goals?
The most important step you can take to obtain money-life balance is to determine your life goals. Do you want limited work and maximum free time in hiking or ski season? A second home? Early retirement? At least two major vacations per year? To start a business? To make sure your children are provided for in terms of higher education? A comfortable retirement?
As you can begin to see from these questions, tons of potential life goals that can make us happy exist. Only you can figure out what yours are. Plus, of course, you can have multiple goals. The world is full of people who want maximum free time for outdoor recreation near Lakewood, but who also want a comfortable retirement.
The goals will shape your money-life balance. If you want limited work and maximum free time to spend in the outdoors most, your choices will be dictated by that. What might also give you enough money to meet your other goals? If you want a large house, you will likely have to save for a down payment. What will balance out your life as you do?
Why thinking through goals is important
If you haven’t thought through your goals in financial plan categories, it’s easy to fall prey to money-life imbalance.
Some folks may focus on early retirement, shoveling income into 401(k)s, individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and other available retirement vehicles. You don’t buy a home or even a new set of skis until you’ve pulled out ahead of the early retirement pack.
Other people may feel that embracing life means not thinking about money. Take that vacation, buy the new furniture, because you could be hit by a bus, this thinking goes.
The problem with both points of view is that they can leave people without a good money-life balance. The first group emphasizes money (and what it can bring) over balanced life goals and the second emphasizes life experiences to the detriment of money (and what it can bring). The first group can end up never having the experiences they’d like to have, and the second can end up in debt or without retirement savings at all.
What’s needed is a good balance between life and money. But how do you get a good balance?
At The Normandy Group, we understand that navigating through your financial choices can at times seem daunting. We have recognized through years of working with our clients that when they achieve a balance between the personal, social, and financial aspects of their wealth a true course for financial freedom is found. We have customized the financial planning process into what we call a Dynamic Wealth Design , a strategically-tailored plan to secure your family’s future, one that lives and breathes with you.
Putting it all together
It can be an excellent idea to work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professional’s must demonstrate knowledge in retirement planning, investments, estate planning, taxes and other categories important in making any kind of life-money plan. Visit us at The Normandy Group in Lakewood, Colorado to begin or review your plan.
In addition, we are fiduciaries, the highest standard of financial advisor. The Normandy Group Team helps individuals, families, and businesses to live with financial confidence.
Contact The Normandy Group today and start working on your Dynamic Wealth Design. We are here to help!