Editor’s Note: Please welcome XYPN member Brandon Marcott to the blog today! Brandon's introducing us to the concept of holistic financial planning and explaining how this approach helps you find a comprehensive financial plan for your unique story.
Holistic has quickly become an overused label in recent years. Holistic medicine, holistic dentistry, holistic pet food, and, yes, even holistic hula hooping. (Seriously. Look it up.)
It’s easy to understand, therefore, how the word has lost some of its meaning. Financial people like to slap that label onto their brand to try and give people the warm-n-fuzzies. But just like when you see the word “natural” on food, you need to look deeper.
Seeing that a financial planner is “holistic” can set off your cynical meter. I understand, because when you look at how a traditional financial advisor works -- unless holistic is synonymous with sales-y, superficial, and commission laden -- the traditional advisor isn’t very holistic!
But holistic financial planning does exist. At its core, a holistic approach involves an intimate interconnectedness of all parts, in that each part cannot be explained without reference to the whole.
Holistic financial planning, therefore, requires us to stretch our view of what “traditional” financial planning is. Financial planning cannot be just about money, but how each part of your life (family, community, spiritual, and financial) interconnects... or doesn’t.
Get Focused and Create a Holistic Financial Plan
All of us go through stages in life when things really seem on track. We feel confident about our future. We feel this way when each part of our life flows together.
But that also happens in reverse. We ride this roller coaster over and over to the detriment of our lives and the lives of those close to us... unless we have a plan.
We often ask ourselves questions in life like, “What am I doing?” or “Where am I going?” We usually muse briefly on these thoughts in regards to our family’s future, our finances, our spiritual life, and then drop it from our consciousness.
When was the last time you really sat down and thought about these things? Helping you to acknowledge where you stand currently and assisting you to begin defining and developing your purpose and path in life are the first two building blocks building a holistic financial plan.
Bring It All Together
Holistic financial planning is designed to integrate all aspects of your life together so that you are no longer wandering aimlessly, but stepping confidently knowing that each part of your life is walking in tandem with the others. It brings together the desires and passions you have for your family, community, and spiritual life and merges them with your finances.
Just as you invest your time into what you think is most important each day, your finances should be invested and allocated based on what is most important as well. Instead of only thinking of your money as a way simply to earn more and accumulate things, think of it as a vehicle to reflect what your true values in life are.
It is when you have aligned your finances with your life’s purpose that you will experience authentic abundance.
Are You Wandering Through Your Financial Life Without Purpose?
Think of walking through your financial life with no clearly developed purpose like walking down a muddy road. It’s uncomfortable at the start and a bit difficult. You really don’t know where you are going, but you see many other people on the same road, so you keep going figuring all will work itself out later.
You spend money here, you spend money there. Save here, save there. Give here, give there. No real rhyme or reason.
The problem is that as you walk farther, the mud gets caked on, thicker and thicker, and the road becomes muddier and even harder to venture down. A year has gone past and you look back and you see the culmination of your financial journey to this point...and it’s not pretty.
“We spent what?” “We made X dollars, how do we have nothing left?” “What about X that we wanted to buy?” “We had planned to give to X this year!”
It usually ends with something along the lines of “well, it is what it is, let’s just keep walking.”
Discover Your Story with Holistic Financial Planning
Every once and a while along your way down this road, you'll see rope magically appear. It allows you to pull yourself onto a new road. Finally, a quick fix to get you out of this mess!
You grab the rope and pull yourself onto the new road. As you begin to walk, however, soon enough you find it just as uncomfortable as before.
You finally begin to realize that you need some help -- not a quick fix that pulls you on a new road with thousands of others, but someone willing to walk beside you and help you construct and discover YOUR path.
This is what holistic financial planning is. Helping people to examine their lives and define and develop their purpose, and in that, creating a comprehensive financial plan that fits their story.
It’s not about putting you on a pre-made path for financial success, it’s helping you define financial success and partnering with you to make that happen. The financial world has become full of talking heads who have finally created the one universal way that you (yes you!) can achieve significance with your life and finances.
Problem is, there is no universal way. It doesn’t exist. This isn’t good enough.
Your story is one of a kind. The unique melding of your family, community, spiritual and financial life will be like no one else’s. By working with a holistic financial planner you won’t get put in a box. Your plan will be distinct because you are. It will help you realize genuine abundance in your life. It will be the only one that will truly fit.
Want to learn more about holistic financial planning and how Brandon serves his clients? You can visit him at Edify Financial Planning, where he specializes in helping others align their finances with what they value most so they may achieve truly abundant living.