How to Discover Your True Purpose For Money

How to Discover Your True Purpose For Money

investing

“Someday when I achieve this, then I’ll be happy.” “When I obtain that, then I’ll be happy.” Fill in the italicized words with your personal desires, and surely you’ve had these thoughts. We all do. But if that “someday” comes, will you really have “arrived?” Will you feel fulfilled?

Let us help you answer those hypothetical questions: Take a moment to reflect on the most significant events in your life. What immediately comes to mind? Graduation? Your wedding day? The birth of your children? Were any of your thoughts financial events?

Money is important, but it’s only one element of total wealth. When we talk to our clients about wealth and the planning related to it, we refer to three dimensions―financial, personal and social.

The financial dimension refers to money, income, expenses, investments and your net worth. If wealth was strictly financial, wealth planning would simply be a series of business decisions to review and adjust periodically. Truthfully, most financial and estate plans created by advisors focus only on the financial component of wealth. But beyond the financial dimension, there are more personal concerns at play when it comes to your money.

Most of our clients reference safety, security, comfort, and financial independence as their true purpose for money.


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Discover Your True Purpose for Money

Have you discovered your true purpose for money? Something that’s more important than money itself? It's not enough to know that money isn’t the most important thing in life. To actually discover what money means to you, you must first determine what is most important to you – something that is more important than money and everything else in life.

This is the personal dimension of wealth and it varies from person to person. It’s also a process to define.

The first stage of this process is exploring your values and beliefs. We use the ‘Dickens inspired question’ to set the table: “If you were at the end of your life, what would have to happen for you to be able to say you’ve lived a life without regret?” In one-word responses, your answers might relate to:

  • Family
  • Charity
  • Education
  • Retirement
  • Possessions
  • Experiences
  • Travel
  • Health
  • Property
  • Interests

The ultimate objective of this question is to discover your fundamental values. A value is something which is desirable or worthy of esteem for its own sake – it has worth in and of itself. It may also be defined as the principles or standards which you hold or accept.

We often express values through financial decisions. When your financial decisions align with your values, you may experience a very real sense of satisfaction and contentment. But when you struggle, worry, or suffer over money, it’s often because your financial choices don’t align with your inner value system.

This is why, no matter what financial decision you’re facing, discovering your true purpose for money can pave the way for long-lasting satisfaction and fulfillment.

Set Your Goals and Define a Plan

The majority of our goals and aspirations fall into two categories: dreams and lifeprints. Your lifeprints are the unique marks or legacies you build during your life. Typically, lifeprints affect people, causes or institutions. This is where we start to move beyond the financial dimension of wealth to the personal and social dimensions, which help us define some of our most important goals.

As author Bob Moawad preaches, when you set exciting, worthwhile goals for yourself, you will work on them and they will work on you. Goals that get to the root of your values will help you focus on that which is most important to you and keep you from making those financial decisions that can lead to suffering over money. When you use money as purposeful tool, it will help you design a life around what’s most meaningful and important to you.

So evaluate your goals based on their alignment with your values and revise them if need be. After you soldify your goals, you can create a personal, lifelong plan to guide all of your investing and spending decisions. Your plan will outline what you want to do with your life and money, so you can say you lived without regret.

This brings us to the third and final dimension of wealth – the social dimension. This is how you choose to benefit society – either charity or the IRS. Charity may seem like the easy answer, but people rarely execute financial and estate planning that eliminates the federal government from receiving their wealth. 67% of households in the United States give to charity each year, but just 7.8% report leaving a charitable bequest in their wills.

The problem is a general misconception about where within your wealth that charitable giving comes from. Your wealth is made up of financial capital – what passes to your heirs – and social capital – the amount paid to the IRS. If you make a current or planned gift to benefit a charity, it doesn’t have to take away from your heirs. A charitable donation can potentially disinherit the IRS leaving more for your heirs and more for charity.

Are You Using Your Money with Purpose?

Discovering your true purpose for money is an instrumental step to creating a wealth plan that helps you find true satisfaction and happiness. But to get to that point, you need to do some important work to define your most important values and goals. Rethink your mental framework about money and finances and start approaching your money with purpose.

Unaware of other financial misconceptions and issues that might cloud your decision-making process? Click below to download our Investor Awareness Guide.


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About Greg Hammond, CFP®, CPA

Greg Hammond is the chief executive officer of Hammond Iles Wealth Advisors, and co-founder of Planned Giving Strategies®. Greg leads a team of professional financial advisors providing customized wealth management and investment solutions for high-net-worth individuals, families, companies, and charitable organizations across the U.S.