Everyone experiences both expected and unexpected transitions in their lives. However, those who are resilient are better able to navigate change, bounce back from disappointment and welcome new opportunities. They persevere during difficult times and have a positive outlook even when experiencing trials and tribulations.
Fortunately, resiliency is a trait or personal characteristic that can be cultivated and strengthened. In Making Sense of Life’s Transitions, William Bridges wrote:
“There are ways of facilitating transitions, and they begin with recognizing that letting go is at best an ambiguous experience … . They involve developing new skills for negotiating the perilous passage across the ‘nowhere’ that separates the old life situation from the new.”
In a nutshell, making a “successful” life transition requires both practical strategies and emotional fortitude. Therefore, because nearly all of life’s transitions have a financial tether, it is important for you—as a financial planner—to consider what you can do to nurture your clients’ financial resilience.
From a practical standpoint, financial resilience requires a foundation of basic financial knowledge and a strategy for building financial security—which, undoubtedly, is included in your core service offering.
However, financial resilience requires that your clients possess emotional strength as well. You can nurture this component of resilience by helping your clients identify their fears and concerns in regard to money. Oftentimes, reflection and conversation is all that is needed to increase understanding and overcome the underlying issues. In addition, a guided review of your clients’ money histories will provide them tremendous insight into the money messages that have consciously and unconsciously influenced their financial attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.
Helping your clients to recognize potential obstacles to their own financial resilience can be a powerful catalyst for positive change. And, you will have played an important role in preparing them to successfully navigate their next life transition!