What is Holistic Financial Planning?

On this episode of A Wiser Retirement Podcast, Casey Smith, Brad Lyons, CFP®, and Missie Beach, CFP®, CDFA®, discuss what holistic financial planning is.

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Conditions of Retirement

“When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone, now I realize I should’ve been more specific.” – Lily Tomlin. We all want to retire one day, but under what conditions? At Wiser Wealth Management, we work with people that are intentionally trying to set and achieve goals. While there are numerical facts behind a path to retirement, it’s our job to couple those with our clients’ life goals.

In recent years, more and more clients cringe at the word retirement because it’s sometimes seen as the end of the line, and they don’t want to make that association. Instead, they want to view it as financial freedom; when they’re no longer forced to work for their paycheck, but maybe want to continue to work, or even perhaps the opportunity to find another job that may bring more fulfillment into their lives. When viewed from this angle, it’s not retiring, it’s just a different phase of life.

Transitioning to Retirement

This transition takes planning. For clients who are intentional about this new phase of life, seeking out a financial firm such as ours, that offers a holistic approach to financial planning is essential. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years. We’ve walked with clients through all stages of life. We know what works and where the pitfalls are as these transitions take place.

As our clients transition, they sometimes decide that they want to retire early, and we help implement a plan for that. Often, when the time comes, we’ll ask them if this is the year they want to retire, and they tell us they’re still happy in their jobs and are not ready yet. Nonetheless, they have peace of mind knowing that even though they don’t want to retire just yet, they still can.

Different Circumstances Require Different Plans

This year we’ve seen a decrease in market performance. Consequently, if all planning had been done solely financially, it would theoretically have delayed people’s retirements. This wasn’t the case for any of our clients. Our planning process is very conservative because it’s built on planning, not on asset management goals. People have to be able to recognize real financial planning. If your financial planning is done in 20 minutes with an investment calculator, it’s not real, and that advisor is likely just trying to sell you more products.

No two client plans are ever the same because that’s the way life is, no two lives are lived the same. In addition, we can’t create a plan with only the client’s financial data. In order to put an effective plan in place, we need a broader understanding of the client’s life in general. Besides, circumstances change and with that, financial planning should also change and be updated to adapt to those new life circumstances. Our planning is non-linear because life isn’t linear. A linear financial planning leads the needs, holistic financial planning follows the needs and wants.

Good Investor Behavior can Lead to Success

A lot of competitors will charge high fees, and in the end provide clients with cash flow planning, which helps them keep up with withdrawals during retirement. The focus should always be the planning first, the planning will drive the investment portfolio, and the portfolio will take care of itself as long as you can keep up with the plan.

We’ve talked about how a successful holistic financial plan will change over time, but one thing that is a common thread throughout the process is good behavior. Long-term asset classes will perform and meet goals as long as there’s good investor behavior. And when there’s finally excess, what to do with it? Build a legacy, and create memories with your family.

At our firm, as part of a holistic approach to managing finances, we can also help clients find a good life insurance agent, estate planning attorney, or a property and casualty agent. We receive no remuneration from those recommendations because we want to do what’s best for our clients. We also don’t turn people away when they come to us in need of help because they are in debt, and/or don’t have any assets. Our goal is to help everyone to get on the path to financial freedom.

Download our white paper on “Your Path to a Lifetime of Financial Success”


0:00 Intro

1:20 Conditions of Retirement

6:26 Transitioning to Retirement

9:22 Different Circumstances Require Different Plans

18:45 Good Investor Behavior Can Lead to Success


Learn more about Casey Smith, Brad Lyons, CFP®, and Missie Beach CFP®, CDFA®


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Learn more about A Wiser Retirement podcast and access previous episodes.


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