Retirement Planning vs. Life Planning

People do not retire. They are retired by others. ~Duke Ellington

Retirement is usually held up as something we all must prepare, plan and save for because it’s the ultimate, natural end-game. However, there is nothing natural about it. In fact, the concept of leaving the workforce at a certain later age and having the money to support oneself was originally a socialist idea! It was adopted by the United States government in the early 20th century as a means to force older workers out of the workforce so there would be room for younger workers. The government then sold the idea to all Americans, branding it as the reward for decades of hard work which spawned many new industries and the rise of Florida as the go-to retirement destination. Though we may think of this as completely normal, it’s only been a popular model for a couple of generations. (The New York Times has this great overview of the history of retirement.)

We’re not fans of the idea of retirement or the notion of retirement planning. It suggests the end of life as you know it or the end of life, period. It’s off in the future, some idealized “some day.” If the picture of that “some day” isn’t your own, or if you don’t find value in delayed gratification, retirement planning may be stressful, painful, or impossible. Some people give up and give in to the pitfalls and distortions of their natures, trapped by self-imposed ceilings. Many people never become aware of living like this, but others do. Each scenario is equally tragic.

We favor the idea of life planning which includes the goal of financial independence plus room to keep living and growing beyond any one financial level, life stage, or age limit set by legislators. Life planning is in the present. It’s a process powered by your intrinsic motivation rather than discipline, which is a lot more comfortable. Our approach begins at the core of who you are rather than a foundation of external factors. Life planning is about being fully alive, growing and developing, and evolving with your money.

Our goal is to help you create and practice a financial strategy that looks out for all your needs, wants, goals, and aspirations. That starts right now and keeps a healthy eye on the future. That’s using your money to support your life as it unfolds, expands, and evolves.

Age in unimportant. Good planning is about what we’re being called to do now and getting on with it.

Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. They do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial. No strategy or process assures success or guarantees against losses.

Adventures in Middle School

As many of you know, we are developing an educational arm, Currency Camp, which will start out teaching kids to know & embrace their natures then move into much needed financial literacy skills. The first actionable step, we thought, was to talk with people we know in the financial and educational worlds to get their thoughts and advice. We were invited into a classroom right away, and it was an amazing experience.

A friend made through business networking, (2 Degrees Portland), happens to be a teacher with the Jobs for Maine Graduates program, (JMG), at Freeport Middle School.  She was about to launch into a unit on self-awareness. Our philosophy of the 7 human natures fit right in with her curriculum, so we decided to collaborate on a 4-day adventure teaching 11-14 year-olds about their superpowers. Here is a short look at some of the things we learned:

  1. No matter how much they may roll their eyes, middle schoolers are curious about themselves and life around them, and they want supportive, useful information. They’ll even go home and talk with their parents about it. They’ll even dream about it!
  2. Middle School students are as able to make the most out of a “learnable moment” as educators are able to make out of a “teachable moment.” The level of interaction, engagement, and the types of questions the students asked were unexpectedly deep & relevant.
  3. The pre-teach/discover/interact/reflect model is highly enjoyable, no matter one’s nature. We started with an overview of the natures, a developmentally-appropriate survey to discover theirs, a game that got their bodies & minds active, and finished with summaries of their experiences in their own words.
  4. This material, so far, seems to be easier for kids to grasp, accept, and integrate than for adults.

After the last day with the students, we talked about what we experienced and observed. Given that last take-away, we wondered what happens as we get older that closes our minds to new information. Is there a reason adults seem to struggle to embrace certain information while kids can easily relate to it? What does it mean for us that we seem to develop an inability to embrace deeper self-knowledge and strategies for honest, true personal evolution?

This experience has motivated us to continue to develop our educational program, Currency Camp. Though this time we focused on the 7 natures, we have plans to go back during their financial literacy units, and we expect to have our minds blown again.

 

This is your life: Ages & $tages.

Where are you in life and what does that mean for your financial plan?

There is a time to work, a time to relax, a time for joy, a time to help others, and a time to be helped by others. We all experience predictable, natural life stages, times when we’re naturally inclined to do, think, and perceive our lives in a specific way. Knowing your nature is part of knowing how to use your money to craft your best life, but understanding your life stage is, too.

Our blog this week is actually a vlog, a short video we created to show you all the life stages, what’s important when, and the true possibility of the human lifespan if we take good care of ourselves. We hope this will help you enjoy your life, every step of the way.

Your financial nature has everything to do with greater health and wealth.

It truly is all about you.

And you are exactly right. Your nature is the key to greater wealth & better health.

Find your nature here.

We believe passionately that you have all the talents and strengths you need to create the life you want, and we’re dedicated to help you transform your money into an empowering, creative tool. There are 7 distinct human natures, each having their own set of strengths and challenges, their own interpretations of words, their own perspectives, and their own traps. Because there are 7 human natures, self-help experts, including personal finance “gurus”, often fall short: they are unconsciously speaking to those who share their natures leaving those who don’t unable to understand, apply, and integrate well-intended advice.

If you know your nature you have the context within which your thoughts, beliefs, actions, and patterns make sense. Tips, strategies, and advice of any kind are more easily and appropriately understood, applied, and integrated because you know who you are. It is possible to take what you need and leave the rest without suffering another failed diet, exercise regimen, relationship plan, or financial strategy.

In just seven questions we’ve created a way for you to name your nature, learn more about it, and begin to filter your experiences through it. Our aim is for this information to give you a healthier, clearer perspective of yourself, your many opportunities financial and otherwise, and the world around you. Just click the image.

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Financial Evolution     The 7 Natures     Your Financial Level     Your Financial State     Your Financial Evolution

 

Disclosures: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advise or recommendations for any individual. They do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial.

shepard financial time and value

Creating Value: what you can expect from shepard FINANCIAL

For you our working relationship is about creating value, producing more of what you love, enjoying your money and your life.

For us it’s about making sure we are at the top of our game so we can help you raise yours.

When you invest yourself in working with us, you’ve got a great team behind you.

The Right Stuff.

Awareness: We keep you informed via newsletters, events, social media, our blog, and eMoney, an online tool that shows you your entire evolving financial picture in one place, for all our clients. 

Education: We’re always available to talk or meet, and we also host regular workshops & forums. We love what we do and are passionate about how we do it; we are committed to sharing the keys to a positive financial evolution.

Integration: We’re here to help you integrate your financial plans fully into your life and across multiple disciplines. We can create and help you maintain systems for staying connected to your money and to your financial strategy.

Communication: we know that in the real world financial conflict stems from two or more natures being unable to communicate. We work with couples, families, business partners, entrepreneurs, managers, and others to create a common financial language to help ease financial stress & conflict.

Strategy:  It’s up to us to understand the financial system, its patterns and relationships so we know how to help you have the most gratifying experience. We have available the best products and services in the industry paired with our exclusive investment strategy so that we may work with you in your best interests. 

Professionalism: You can expect us to be ethical and reliable, maintaining your confidentiality. Money has a deeply personal, emotional side which we understand and respect. We are responsible for our own evolution and are active in our individual journeys as well as the evolution of the company itself.

 

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