I’ve been helping individuals and couples navigate and manage their financial affairs for over seven years now. I have my own systems in place for doing this work but I decided I needed to put a framework around what I do, so others can
- Understand what it is that makes personal financial management successful
- See how financial stability can be threatened
I gave some thought to my experiences over the years, and was abIe to formalize my system and purpose into something I call The Three Pillars of Financial Management(TM) as you see in the graphic.
Your money mindset is the foundation of all of your lifetime financial decisions. Sometimes our money mindset is what keeps us from living our best life, at any given stage. Being needlessly frugal or spending like there is no tomorrow can be equally detrimental to our well-being.
The first pillar is the meat of your financial stability. If your eyes glaze over when someone talks to you about insurance, taxes, housing, investing, and the myriad of other financial topics that we have to somehow negotiate, then it may be that your financial education has some gaps. Not everyone is good at this stuff, and you probably did not learn these skills in school! Not only that, but the rules change over time and if you don’t enjoy dealing with financial matters it can be hard to make yourself stay abreast of the changes.
The second pillar is the system you use to manage all the information that overloads our mailboxes and inboxes every day. Without good systems for handling mail and email, passwords and banking, you can quickly find yourself behind the 8-ball. This leads to stress, and potentially financial loss.
You can have a great understanding and systems in place for managing your affairs, but if something happens that blocks your ability to get things done, your financial stability is put at risk. Execution is the physical, cognitive & motivational means to maintain a stable financial life.
What I have discovered in working with clients is that when just one pillar is out of balance, the whole house can come crashing down.
The crash is sometimes sudden, as in the case of an accident, stroke, or death of a spouse, or more often there is a slow crumble. I see this with diseases that progressively debilitate, with the progression of an aging brain, and with the accumulation of years of poor financial decision-making. My desire is to help clients at whatever stage they find themselves or a loved one:
- Crisis Mode
- Planning ahead
Those who have reached a crisis point are falling behind in their financial tasks, perhaps have been scammed, and they, or their families are overwhelmed, and probably not just with finances. For them, we put the financial fish back in the tank, reduce the stress, and manage things with and for them as long as they need help.
For planners hoping to avoid an eventual financial crisis, we offer Power of Attorney and Executor services. You can optionally use our Legacy Organizer & Executor Handbook to get your affairs documented to ease the transition (and reduce the cost) when someone else has to take over. Even if you just use the book, we can meet with you at least annually to ensure your work is up to date.
The Three Pillars are a framework that anyone can use to have a discussion with someone who might need to come to their own realization that they need help. We are Three Pillar experts, and our mission is to bring stability to individual financial situations.
I’m hoping to bring you a deeper look at the Three Pillars with each article I publish and with guest experts on a number of topics. I would also love to hear from you on topics that would be helpful in your life! There may even be a podcast in my future…no promises!
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