Why A Comprehensive Financial Plan Should Include A Life Coach
By Christopher Young, CFP®, CPWA®, CMFC®
One of the most important roles of a financial advisor is helping clients prepare for retirement. Advisors are trained to evaluate a client’s economic situation and develop a strategic plan to best position them to accomplish their goals. However, finances are only one piece of the puzzle. Oftentimes, an investor may financially have the ability to retire, yet making the emotional decision to leave their career is a challenge.
What Holds People Back From Making The Transition Into Retirement?
As a financial advisor, one of the most common reasons I see people delaying the transition is the element of uncertainly in what comes next. Even the most diligent savers and investment-savvy individuals can be paralyzed when faced with identifying what will bring them satisfaction and joy in the next chapter of life.
While it’s critical to have your financial affairs in order, it’s equally as important to plan for the mental, social, and spiritual aspects of retirement. Ask yourself questions such as, “How will I fill up my days and keep myself busy?” or “What will my new routine look like?” and “My career has given me a sense of purpose for decades, what comes next?” To help answer these questions, I recommend bringing a life coach into the retirement planning conversation.
Incorporating A Life Coach Into Retirement Planning
While financial planning and life coaching have traditionally been independent of each other, integrating the two can be extremely beneficial. By working through your plan more comprehensively, you will feel more comfortable and confident in making the transition.
How Does Life Coaching Work?
A life coach can often tap into concerns you don’t even realize exist, and will provide valuable tools, perspectives, and support systems to prepare you for the next phase.
Life coaching sessions are action-oriented and focus on both the present and the future. A life coach will help to:
- Discover, clarify, and refine retirement goals and objectives
- Encourage self-discovery of your values and priorities
- Elicit strategies and solutions
- Hold you accountable
The focus of conversation is often set by you. Your life coach will listen, relay observations, and ask probing questions. This process helps to bridge the gap between where you are now and where you would like to be in the future. In my experience, clients have typically been able to meet their goals in just a few short months by engaging in these types of exercises.
How Do You Find The Right Life Coach?
The right life coach should embody a certain set of qualities: accountability, strategic thinking, active listening, and goal setting. They should be someone you are comfortable opening up to, while also challenging and motivating you. Most life coaches will offer a free consultation, which gives you the chance to interview them and identify the right fit.
A well-qualified financial advisor may help you find the right match (and collaboration with your advisor increases the possibility of successful outcomes). Additionally, there are many resources online to locate a certified life coach in your area, including www.lifecoach.com and www.noomii.com.
A Winning Combination
Integrating a life coach into a comprehensive financial plan can transform your retirement planning experience. Once you are financially and emotionally prepared, making the decision to retire is empowering. The end result is something we all aspire to…a more fulfilling and enjoyable life.