Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Financial Cartography II

“When you come to a fork in the road…Take it.”
-Yogi Berra

Many people that engage my services have only a vague idea – financially speaking – of “where” they are going or how they will get “there”. I like to use the analogy of a jigsaw puzzle or a map to describe what financial planning is and what it does. Think of putting together a jigsaw puzzle without a picture of what the finished puzzle should look like – pretty tough, huh? The financial lives of many people I meet resemble that jigsaw puzzle – all the client knows is they have a box of puzzle pieces but they don’t have a picture of what the finished puzzle should look like. And, without that picture they feel helpless in putting the pieces together.

Financial Cartography describes the series of processes by which I help clients determine their dreams, goals and objectives with the end result producing a financial map for their lives. I find that as this map is drawn, re-drawn and refined with new details, that clients become more engaged in planning their futures and discover that they do have the power to decide where they are going and how they will get there. When the map is completed to their satisfaction, I integrate the aspects of financial planning into their map so they can reach their objectives along the way.

Financial Cartography is not “retirement planning”, but life planning. “Retirement” is just a tactic for living a period in one’s life. Living a happy and fulfilled life is the ultimate goal and retirement is merely one part of that life.


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