Financial planning: A great forum topic

Talking about money and finances can be great vehicle for forums to go deeper, leading to greater levels of vulnerability, trust, and insight.  Here’s one way to begin the conversation:

  • One member brings copies of key pages from their retirement plan (income, expenses, assets, debts) and unpacks the document(s) for the forum:
    • How did I develop this plan? (myself, with a professional)
    • How do I feel about it: my uncertainties, reservations, and doubts?
  • Others respond by sharing their experiences and feelings:
    • What resonated for me?
    • The memory or experience that was triggered for me…
    • This topic/conversation makes me feel…
    • This is how I connect with what has been shared so far…

Some additional questions to spark your discussion:

  • What is the next (financial) thing I would like to do in my life?
  • What is stopping me?
  • Am I obliged to others or do I feel free to follow my own plans?
  • How much control do I feel over my financial life?
  • What meaning does money have for me?
  • Does financial planning drain or invigorate me?
  • Do I feel that I will have to retire to get the reward I deserve?
  • When I am not working, do I feel worthy?
  • What do I expect from hard work?

Another option: Invite a financial planner to your meeting, and ask each member to do some advance homework for an interactive exercise with the planner.

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