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Financial Fear

As emotions are a natural “condition” of the human experience, I invite you to look closer at the emotion most often tied to money: fear. With the markets and global economy playing on the proverbial roller coaster, again, we are called to expand our way of facing these events with new skills.  Skills that are gutsy, real, powerful – dare I say transformative?

Let’s start with an example. You have created a significant balance on your credit cards that are bearing a high interest rate. The engine on your car just blew and it will cost $1,200 to repair. Your college roommate is getting married and the expense to fully participate in the celebration is causing you conflict. This typical situation creates heavy pressure – manifested as discursive thoughts in your mind and tension in your body. Continue Reading →

Forecasting Financials

Every financial planner is well versed in preparing financial statements. These reports are an important part of the financial planning process. Preparing financial statements – forecasting financials – is one part of one of the six steps required by all Certified Financial Planners®.  We regularly prepare financial statements and forecast the future for our clients. The structure and landscape looking forward allow meaningful conversation and “what ifs” to emerge. The dialogue fosters clarity, connection and purpose-filled action.  This experience happens when financial planning is done well. Continue Reading →

Finish Your Finances

In financial planning, there are basic practical matters to complete for every individual, couple or family. These include: tax returns, an estate plan, insurance protection, an investment plan, and a cash flow plan.

Tax returns: Are your tax returns current and complete?  If not, make it a priority to take action to complete them. Retain tax papers in a simple file system so that your documents are in order and accessible for tax preparation at the beginning of each year.  Organizing and preparing early supports easeful tax preparation. Continue Reading →

What Is A Healthy Financial Transition?

Divorce, death, disability, loss of job, sudden wealth and sudden loss are examples of typical life transitions that include monetary considerations. Earlier I described Bill Bridges’ transition process including the three phases: an ending, a neutral zone and a new beginning. Financial transitions incorporate these phases as well.

But, financial transitions can be more complex than “regular” transitions because not only are you facing change, you are also adding the energy of money. While money is neutral, your relationship to it is filled with beliefs and behavior and habits that may or may not serve you and the impending change. In over thirty years, I have not experienced anyone who has been fearless in a financial transition. How can you coexist with fear and manifest a healthy financial transition? Continue Reading →

Receiving Money … As A Genuine Gift Or A Tax Transfer

At a recent financial planning conference, I attended a session on the current rules of our estate tax system. Our current estate tax rules, the most simple ever, are “in place” for two years, at the end of which I strongly suspect our lawmakers will make more changes. My interest in this presentation was less about the great tax compromise and more about meaning behind gifting, one of the traditional estate planning strategies to decrease a taxable estate. Continue Reading →

Money Influence

You know and are reminded that your beliefs and behavior around money have been strongly influenced by others, particularly from your childhood. You see that this money influence can either support you in your evolution or undermine you by aligning with ego. Even if you have reflected and reviewed this fact before, there is value in repeating the exercise again, particularly when the past few years in our economic environment have tested our fortitude and shaken our confidence.

In periods of money stress, the ego likes to control, constrict and protect. Most often, the results from ego intervention are unfavorable and self-serving – coming from the less supportive money influence. You may be asking, “Gayle, what do you mean?” Continue Reading →