What do real financial planners study?
A few weeks ago, I was on the organizing task force of the Financial Planning Association’s Retreat Conference. Five certified financial planners from Tennessee were among the 400 attendees described as the “Thinkers, Thought Leaders & Change Makers” of the financial planning profession.
In a session titled “The Burned Out Family Caregiver,” Annalee Kruger, founder of Care Right Inc., explained how she “strives to help families understand the benefits of proactive planning and ongoing discussions about the aging of their loved one.” Her presentation described tools and resources for caregivers to have a plan in place versus waiting until a medical crisis arises in the family (www.carerightinc.com). In particular, her “Grab and Go” notebook — a binder containing all of the key contacts and documents a senior might need in a crisis — is especially valuable.
Sonya Dreizler is a consultant on values-aligned investing, i.e., “investing that drives social and environmental progress through investments.” She described the public’s increasing interest in impact investing based on factors such as values, environmental sustainability, governance, social responsibility, etc. Dreizler expressed her concern about the lack of (political and public) civility that is impeding progress on these issues.
Barbara Coombs Lee, author of “Finish Strong,” said, “Dying in America is a terrible mess.” According to Lee, there are woeful imbalances between benefits and burdens during end-of-life care.
Financial planning: Living and dying well
For example, 1 in 4 people who enter the ICU with documented “Do Not Resuscitate” orders get CPR. And, 3 in 4 patients with a documented preference for comfort care get at least one aggressive medical intervention they didn’t want. She teaches people how to become good advocates for themselves and their loved ones when suffering through fruitless procedures and prolonged stays in intensive care.
Real financial planning is about more than yesterday’s closing stock market data. Of course the money matters, but from cradle to grave, the financial planning process is about living and dying well.