Typical conversations with financial advisors have historically revolved around client cash flow needs, returns, savings rates, taxes and the economic environment. Although these discussions warrant review, as practitioners within the industry of providing comprehensive financial advice we continue to evolve in our approach by implementing new tools and insights. The concept of Return on Life focuses on a more encompassing value proposition as opposed to measuring success based solely by return on investment. The Return on Life belief system views money as a tool, which aids in providing the best quality of life possible given the resources available. Through experience, understanding of our clients’ backgrounds, belief systems and values, we ultimately enable deeper measurements of well-being and financial progress.
Key to our focus on Return on Life planning is a deeper understanding of how clients view and use their money. In doing so, we gain insight into determining if their use of money aligns with their goals and what they ultimately want out of life. Expertise in understanding our clients’ story is central, with the numbers viewed peripherally. Dimensions beyond the financial data is as important as the data itself. By engaging in Return on Life discussions, more substantive and fruitful discussions ultimately provide superior and more gratifying planning experiences.
As individual perspectives continually develop and evolve, so too does our need to utilize more well-rounded financial planning tools. These tools aid with modeling scenarios that demonstrate spending level estimates and reflect a client’s financial position. They also allow us to calculate a probability of success rate measured in terms of what road the plan may be headed financially. The next objective is likely more synonymous with the prototypical financial planner which offers investment instruments and insurance products as solutions for achieving these goals. It is our view that the financial advising industry tends to overemphasize the investment and insurance objective, overlooking the more important metrics of success, such as the state of your overall well-being. In other words, how are you doing, and is your money closely aligning with what you want in life? The Return on Life concept initially may seem counterintuitive as philosophical differences contrast with the “nothing else matters but returns” approach that we’ve become accustomed to within our society.
Return on Life planning isn’t about how the markets are doing, it’s about how you are doing. Understanding that money in a vacuum serves no purpose is key. Guiding our clients to align their money with what they want in life is at the core of our planning approach. Money is viewed as a tool that gets you where you want to go. We want to enable our clients with the flexibility to do what they want, at the pace they want, with whom they want. The Return on Life approach grows from industry norms manifesting into a richer and more significant financial planning experience.
To learn more about the Return on Life experience please contact your advisor, or call our office.