The very nature of the word planning connotes preparing for a future. As planners, we evaluate current spending and saving, provide a variety of return assumptions based on past history, and confidently tell people how much they need to save so they can retire at a certain age. It sounds so pretty and straightforward. But is it the right thing for clients?
Emergency medicine is the specialty of unexpected illness. In my years as a practicing physician, I experienced daily the way these events hit suddenly and hard. Accidents, new diagnoses of cancer, sudden strokes or massive heart attacks – a life is changed forever (typically many lives, of course). In my planning practice, this has gnawed on my psyche for years. I focused so much on making people prepare financially for the future, yet in the back of my mind, I knew the future could be gone in the blink of an eye.
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