By Patrick Amey

The notion of financial and/or wealth management means different things to different people. For some, it’s finding investments and saving options to preserve what they have. For others, it’s planning the estate they want to leave behind.  And for still others, it simply means planning for retirement.

We tell clients it’s all that and more. And to successfully manage and maximize those resources you have — financial, personal and otherwise — you need to be clear about your goals: How long do you want to work? What lifestyle do you want today and tomorrow? Once you’re crystal clear on your overall life goals — not just financial ones — it’s time to put plans in place to achieve those goals.

Typically, people will focus on a single element of their financial picture — retirement, investment or some other — somewhat to the exclusion of the other elements. We take the opposite approach, using what we call our Making Life Count!® pyramid, a holistic, bottoms-up view of your life and financial goals, and how you can achieve them.  We believe the pyramid needs to start with a strong base of “building blocks” or foundational elements to create a solid financial pyramid.

We believe there are four foundational elements — focused on growing and protecting your wealth — that work together to maintain a solid, balanced financial picture:

Wealth protection to address risks to your assets and ensure a plan is in place to react to risks.  If you don’t have adequate wealth protection, a single adverse event can ruin all the other planning for today and the future.

Estate planning to ensure should something happen to you, outcomes are clearly outlined.  If you don’t have the proper documents and you become incapacitated for a time period, this could be disastrous.

Tax planning to help you save on taxes.

Investment management with the intent to grow your wealth based on your stage in life, goals and objectives and risk tolerance.

With that as a backdrop, the next level of the pyramid focuses on assessing your current situation, looking at areas such as your cash flow needs, net worth, your debt and what we call human capital — your time, talents and experience. We believe your human capital is key to your financial success.  How you manage and grow in your career will directly affect how much income you earn in your life-time.

With this picture of your current situation, it’s time to begin to form action plans to meet your goals:

Retirement planning — Ensure you have the funds you need to live the life you want once you stop working

Career planning — Mapping out what you want to do from a career perspective, whether that’s keep working at the same job or looking at something new, and then setting the timeframe.

Fund goals — How you plan to fund goals such as children’s education, support for other family members, vacation homes and or travel.

Making Life Count!® is our philosophy – living well today while planning for the future.  This is the delicate, on-going balance that you’ll see in the top pieces of the pyramid. The first level is about trying to maintain lifestyle, build career satisfaction, and pursuing your passions now to have a well-rounded life today.

Then as you move into financial independence and post-career, we encourage clients to think about their legacy.  Legacy isn’t just about the money you leave behind; it can be how you use your human capital and your influence to leave a lasting legacy.

At the end of the day, your financial health is less about your actual resources than about ensuring they enable you to live the life and leave the legacy you want. Set the solid foundation, understand your goals and then take the actions to reach them.

To begin the building process, schedule a meeting by clicking below, contact Patrick Amey –, or call (913) 345-1881.

Photo credit: PC – My Shots@Photography / / CC BY-NC-ND