What is the role of spirituality in financial life planning?


Financial life planning (FLP) has the potential to be a transformative experience for clients, moving them from who they are to who they hope to become. Recent research has explored the role of spirituality in the practice and profession of FLP, shedding light on its profound impact on clients, planners, and the overall engagement.

Spirituality in Financial Planning

Spirituality, often misunderstood and polarizing, is not about religion but about a client’s personal search for meaning and connectedness in life events. It is a universal aspect of being human, influencing well-being and flourishing in life. FLP, with a focus on spirituality, fosters positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishments, leading to a fulfilling life.

The Role of the Financial Planner

To create a spiritually infused environment, planners must embody certain attributes and skills. The planner’s way-of-being, marked by presence, openness, and non-judgmental attitude, is the cornerstone of a successful FLP engagement. Additionally, planners need to cultivate spiritual intelligence (SQ), which involves wisdom, compassion, and purpose-driven living.

Active listening, asking open-ended questions, and co-creative processes are instrumental in deepening conversations and discovering clients’ core values. The physical and emotional space of the engagement should be calming, quiet, and conducive to trust, creating a “sacred” atmosphere.

Financial Planners as More Than Number Crunchers

Embracing spirituality in FLP requires planners to go beyond technical competence and delve into coaching, guiding, and leadership skills. To maximize the impact of FLP, planners should engage in personal self-discovery, reflection, and discernment of their relationship with money.

The Future of Financial Planning

As the financial planning profession evolves, the focus should expand beyond money to encompass deeper and more meaningful conversations that connect money and meaning. By embracing spirituality, financial planners can fulfill the promise of their profession, transforming lives beyond finances and contributing to the greater good.