Life Planning to Financial Planning

Life Planning

Life planning is a process of focusing on the true values and motivations in your life and developing a life plan to achieve your personal and professional goals in life.

To facilitate this, there are exercises to go through which will assist the person to focus on a meaningful life they have always wanted to live. There are some fundamental questions which one needs to ask, which will help them narrow down on what they really want to do in life. Once they discover their true, heartfelt goals, and see the vision of that wholesome life they can create for themselves, they get hugely excited. This helps the person realise what a fulfilling life they can actually live and they get to experience the entire repertoire of emotions that would arise out of such a life.

India and its family structure

Joint Family

India has a rich family structure with a patrilineal background, which help the family members to sustain a life with kinship groupings. Earlier, mostly joint families were found where family members live together under one roof. They all mutually work, eat, worship and co-operate each other in one or the other way. This also helps the family to get strong mentally, physically and economically, the children also get to know about the values and traditions of the society from their grandparents and elders. Meanwhile, urbanization and westernization had its influence on the basic structure of the Indian family structure. The division of the joint family into smaller units is not the symbol of people rejecting this traditional structure. The circumstances and conditions also made the need for people to split the family. The family as a social institution has been undergoing change. Both in its structure and functions changes have taken place. In India, as in many traditional societies, the family has been not only the centre of social and economic life but also the primary source of support for the family members.

Factors affecting family structures

Ø Change in Fertility

Ø Change in Age of marriage

Ø Change in Mortality

Ø Marriage Dissolution

Ø Participation of Women in Economic development

Nuclear family

Today, quite a number of urban couples are opting for a nuclear family. The general perception is that it’s always easier to set up a nuclear family after one’s wedding. The primary reason seems to be availability of more space for the members of the family.

Independent Single Women

The single women range from unmarried, to widows, to divorcees and the ones living separately. One of the options can be to just succeed in whatever you do and keep walking and ticking off every detractor who dares to raise their voice against your singlehood. In India, marriage is such an important institution that being single is often a struggle for women. However, things are changing. India now has more single women than ever before: some 74 million of them. In big cities, young, educated women are saying no to marriage, choosing independence over family obligations. For many single women, leaving smaller towns and parents and moving to metro cities in search of a job and financial independence is in itself a revolutionary step.

Millennials generation

Changes in Family structre is having major impact on Life Palnning as thinking of Millennials generation is bringing major changes in Life Planning Compared to the older generation, fewer millennials can afford to own a house, even though they aspire to do so. Given that pre-millennials have spent a relatively greater part of their life working, they typically have more savings and wealth compared to millennials. Even as globalization has offshored job opportunities in the West over the past few decades, it has created new vocations and boosted earnings in several emerging markets such as India. As a result, many young people in India have had greater material comforts than their parents could imagine.

How does life planning make a difference?

There is no set formula on how you have to live your life. The life we have is the only life there is and we have the option to make it meaningful. But, for that, we need to understand what is meaningful to us and what is it that we really want from life. Life planning precisely addresses this. This is a new area where the focus is to find out what is truly important for us in life, what will deliver that freedom from the bondage of a humdrum existence.

Life Planning Process

You need to articulate what a meaningful life will look like?

Resources

There are resources to assist in getting your thoughts together, focus on what we want in lives & get energised about the wonderful possibilities. There should be thought-provoking questions which should direct one’s thinking in a directions & help in clarifying as to what is important in one’s life. All of us have goals - like buying a home, a second home, foreign holidays, cars etc. We focus on these and plan and save to achieve them over a period of time. But, the important point is, do these goals bring true satisfaction and a sense of achievement to a person?

Visioning process: All the elements which you feel are vital to have in your ideal life will form a part of the visioning process.

The possible obstacles that may come in the way of your achieving the idea life should be identified. Planner gives you the courage & energy needed to see them through the obstacles in your path. The quality that you seek in your lives identified so that the you gets the vigour to pursue the ideal life.

What Can One Expect Out Of Life Planning Process?

What would come out of the process can be quite different for different people. In some cases, it may just be some small tweaks in their life. In others, it could entail major changes in their life due to considerable changes in the way they want to live their life.

We all deserve a life where we experience the freedom in our lives to achieve our true potential and live a life that is truly meaningful. And life planning can make this possible. When life planning is made a part of financial planning, it becomes a force multiplier for the person.

As George Kinder, the father of the life planning movement says, "Life planning is financial planning done right".

For most people money is part of life while for others money is life

Financial Life Planning

Financial Life Planning involves a reflective, purposeful even profound approach to goals that clarifies financial objectives as a significant subset of personal goals along with an empathic response to your aspirations and concerns. Some of the goals which one had in the past may not retain their appeal any more. New goals would take its place, there could be adjustments in income, expenses etc. too, depending on what one may want to do going forward.

How Does Financial Life Planning Help?

In financial life planning, the first portion would be to deeply explore what is it that would count as an exciting life – a life well lived. The truly important goals are often things which are not necessarily about money. We have found that people want to better the quality of their relationships, spend more time with the family, learn an instrument, pursue hobbies, give back to the society/ environment, take care of their parents, get back in shape etc. Most of these things do not need money – at any rate not too much to pursue any of these. But pursuing these would significantly improve the quality of their lives for these are truly important to them. Simultaneously, we would be working on the finances after incorporating the important, heartfelt goals and have a financial plan in place that would make it all work.

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