Imagine this. We are going to take everything from you except the clothes on your back.
Now we are going to give you a bag of money that equals your net worth before we took everything away.
What are you going to do with this money? Will you have the same house and the same car and live in the same neighborhood? Will you shop differently? Will you try new things or simply go back to where you left off? Will you donate to the same organizations you were before? Will you invest exactly the same as you did before? Would you live differently if you could just start over?
Take a moment and write down exactly what you would do. After you’re finished, keep reading.
This simple exercise helps us re-evaluate what we currently have and what we truly value. For most of us, we probably wrote down a few things that were vastly different from our current status. From what we see when working with our clients, it’s those that seem to “have it all” that get the most value from financial life planning. Just to be clear, this is not to say that those with a lesser net worth wouldn’t value just as much.
Sometimes we are so blindsided by knowing we have it all that we don’t take a step back and think about “is this what I actually want?” If we have the assets to make our values our top priority, why not actually make a change?
Below are some additional questions to ask yourself when looking through this evaluation:
Where are you now?
- List your current assets (reference your Financial Planning Website/Net-worth Report).
- List your values.
- List what you enjoy doing.
Where do you want to be?
- List what you want to do more of that you are not doing now.
- Write your legacy – at least 1-2 paragraphs of what you want to be remembered by.
- Where do you see yourself 1, 5, 10, etc. years from now?
Analyze your current status.
- If in #1 you said one of your primary values is family, but your assets and your time are not spent to benefit your family, it needs some adjusting. Take some time to see what needs more of your attention.
- If there is something holding you back from carrying on the legacy you deserve, what can you do differently?
- Where are there gaps?
After completing this assessment, there are a number of findings you may come across. You may see that you are right where you want to be and only want to make a few adjustments. Maybe you love the time you spend with your family and your leisure activities, but you feel that you’d like to invest in a different non-profit. Others may find their investments are in line with where they want to be, but they’d like to change how they spend their time or try something completely new! On the contrary, you may find the legacy you want to leave is not in line with how you are currently living and there are a number of changes you want to make.
If you have gone through this list and see that there needs some adjustments, it’s time to give us a call. Whether we just talked with you last week or we’ve never talked at all, let’s sit down and make a change!