I was listening to the Radical Personal Finance interview with J.D. Roth and they talked briefly about a guy named George Kinder and his views of how life planning is financial planning done right. Basically, he believes the only way to really create a financial plan for yourself is to truly understand what your overall life plan is. This is how you find out what motivates you and what your priorities truly are.
Here are the 3 questions Kinder asks that help us to truly understand our goals through self-examination. Each question causes you to dive deeper and deeper to figure out your true inner workings:
If you had all the money that you needed, how would you live your life? (There is no money or time limit; this assumes you will live a long life).
If you only had 5-10 years left to live, what would you do differently with your life?
If you only have 24 hours left to live, what would you miss? Who did you not get to be? What did you not get to do?
WHOA- DEEPER THAN DEEP
Your true Life Plan is born out of the last question. You form your financial plan around the last question’s answer. The previous two questions serve as stepping stones to get you to the heart of what really matters the most to you.
I won’t go into all of my answers to the question in details but here is what I have come away with. I love being a mom, wife, daughter and friend. I want to spend as much time with the people who matter the most to me. I also want to live life on my own terms without society’s limitations and expectations. Therefore my financial plan and goals are centered around becoming Financially Independent as soon as possible. This means saving and investing as much as I can so that I can CHOOSE whether I want to work for someone else or not. My happiness is not derived from material things but rather the experiences I have with the people I love and the freedom of knowing I can walk away from my career if it no longer suits my needs.
I hope these questions get your wheels turning as it did for me. Is your financial plan and spending in line with your life’s plan?
Below is a video of Kinder explaining his method: