ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Values, money and financial planning

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

The other day, I attended the Minnesota Men’s Breakfast in Naples, Florida. The CEO of Cargill spoke about his organization and what the consumer is demanding from its food providers and suppliers. He talked about values-based food, where it came from, how it’s grown, GMO or not, etc. Today, consumers are demanding a personal connection and relationship with their food and grower. That got me thinking about my clients, their money, and values toward financial planning. Let’s talk aligning our money and financial planning with our values.

Our checkbooks show our financial priorities, no question. But do our checkbooks actually align with our values? Do they align with our financial plan? I suspect for most of us they do not. Selecting where our food comes from might be easier than aligning our values and money to a financial plan. So why is that?

We live in a fast-paced world. Television and social media work to influence us each day into what our values should be. I suspect for most of you the realities we see on these platforms do not reflect our actual values. But how do we align our values with our financial plan?

First, understand your values and priorities.

Sometimes that requires a clean slate and opportunity to rediscover ourselves. Pausing for a few hours, days or weeks might be in order. Life’s just too damn short and no one wants regrets. I know we all made decisions to reach where we are at, so maybe we need to start making different decisions to start aligning our values and money.

Second, create a dream boards

These are visual reminders of what’s most important to us, what we want to accomplish, and areas we want to improve upon. Dream boards serve as that daily reminders to ask if the decisions we’ve made are helping us reach our goals? Many of us, including myself, need it. Am I living the life I envision or dream?

Third, make a financial plan.

Once you have the blueprint (dream board) you can start making decisions that bring your money, values and financial plan together. For some, you’ll have to make some hard decisions and it might take years to pull it off. That’s Ok. But you need to start. One of the reasons I have a job as a Certified Financial Planner is to help bring this together. A great planner can help hold you accountable and make it happen.

Fourth, understand your views toward money.

Our values toward money were established at a young age. Maybe these views need to be revised to fit our true beliefs today. There is something powerful when you become the master of your money, direct where you want it to go and empower your values. You can align your money and values and when you master your money and know your values, you master your life.

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Ask yourself- can my portfolio support my lifestyle in my retirement? 

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