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Life Planning

Listen to me get really excited describing Life Planning on the Therapy for Your Money Podcast with Julie Herres!

What is Life Planning?

Life Planning is a new and exciting way to think about your finances. Life Planning helps you define the most essential elements you require to lead a meaningful and fulfilled life. It then ensures your financial resources are dedicated to establishing that life of greatest meaning and purpose.

Through a series of conversations and writing exercises, Life Planning facilitates discovery of what is most important to you; helps define a compelling near-term vision for your life; and assists in the navigation of any obstacles that stand in your way.

After these initial steps of the Life Planning process “traditional” financial planning begins. With a clear vision for your future, we know how to best deploy your financial resources. Whether you choose to work with a professional or pursue a do-it-yourself approach, the experience of Life Planning will bring insight and clarity about how to lead a vital and authentic life

Discussion Topics of Life Planning Meetings

What do we discuss in Life Planning meetings? We talk about your life! The life you are living now and how it may differ from the life you feel called to live.

This is a conversation about your life and what makes it worth living - only you know what is relevant. Life Planning conversations often include discussions of career changes, extended time off work, volunteering, traveling or living abroad, romantic relationships, uncertainty around having children, spirituality, health and wellbeing, among others. 

What Is life planning? Los Angeles, CA turning point Financial Life Planning

Life Planning Roadmap

There are three meetings in the Life Planning process. These conversations won’t feel like traditional financial planning because they aren’t.
My role in these meetings is to listen and help you discover the life you are meant to live. I’m always happy to answer any questions, but you’ll be doing most of the talking. Don’t let this scare you off! My role is to create a non-judgmental space for you to conduct this exploration for yourself.


Exploration Meeting

This is the getting-to-know-yourself phase of Life Planning with open-ended questions and wide-open exploration. Together, we’ll discuss where both your passions and anxieties live. This meeting is for me to get to know you better, and for me to learn what is most important to you. It is equally important for you to hear what’s most important to you. In this meeting we do not attempt to solve any problems, navigate any obstacles or define any plan. Instead, we focus on uncovering, discovering and discussing anything you can think of which is important to consider when developing your Life Plan.
At the conclusion of this meeting, you’ll receive four writing exercises. You are free to spend as much or as little time on these exercises as feels useful. These exercises will facilitate the Vision meeting.


Vision Meeting

The Vision Meeting is usually held one to two weeks after the Exploration meeting. We will review together your responses to the four writing exercises, and explore the themes revealed in them. Together we will define an exciting and inspirational near-term Vision of what your life could look like. In this phase your goals are clarified and this clarity lights a motivating fire for you to accomplish your life’s purpose.


Obstacles Meeting

The Obstacles Meeting is usually held one to two weeks after the Vision meeting. This is the meeting in which we define strategies for taking on the challenges and obstacles to your vision. Through this discussion, we will define solutions to resolve these obstacles with energy and vitality. The focus is on facilitating discovery of your unique capabilities and agency. We will employ your intimate and intuitive knowledge of your situation to define empowering next steps.

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The Life Planning process described here, and materials used during the process, were developed by George Kinder and the Kinder Institute of Life Planning. It is part of a program of trainings that lead to the Registered Life Planner® designation. Used by permission of George Kinder © 1999, 2017.