You may have heard the expression, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” If you are a person who loves your work, you are truly fortunate. And hopefully, the money has followed. But if you’re a person who works primarily for the money, you may be ready for a little more love in your life. At Planswell, we believe having a great financial plan not only gives you financial benefits, it gives you psychological and emotional ones as well. When you know where you’re heading and have a sense of financial security, it can help you feel more confident, more relaxed, and even more creative. Here’s a short story that might help get you thinking: ario Ario’s father was a third-generation woodworker from Iran. His beautiful, ornate circular carvings were admired in homes and offices from Tabriz to Zahedan. But Ario was born in Canada and ended up with a much more typical job—running a cell phone franchise store at a busy mall in the suburbs. Still, when he had spare time, Ario could often be found keeping up the family tradition in a cramped corner of his single-car garage. It wasn’t always easy to justify his hobby from a financial point of view. The wood was expensive. The tools were expensive. And most of what he created, he’d just give away to friends or family anyway. One day, Ario’s wife, Dorri, suggested that they sit down and create a financial plan. That’s when things started to change. For the first time, they could really visualize retirement. They discussed how they wanted to live. And they could see that it would actually be possible within the next five-to-10 years. Suddenly, Ario found himself looking at his woodwork in a different light. What if he could devote more time to it? Heck, what if he could build himself a proper workshop? And upgrade his tools? Ario called his son, Reza, to ask for help. Reza set up an online store where his dad could try selling his creations. Ario knew his work was good, but he was still amazed when he sold his first piece for $350. Over the next few years, things really started to click. Before he knew it, Ario was retired and hitting his stride as a woodworker. On a typical day, he’d wake up, have coffee with Dorri, check his website for any new orders, and spent a few hours quietly crafting pieces in his workshop. Did he need the money? Not really. His financial plan took care of his retirement finances. He did it because he loved it. And his financial plan gave him the confidence to imagine a new and more fulfilling life. One of the most interesting questions you can ask yourself is: “How would I spend my time if money were no object?” The goal isn’t to fantasize about becoming a billionaire, but to gain insights into what you value and what makes you happy. When money is a stress, it has a way of closing doors. You worry about spending. You worry about the future. You can start to see life as a month-to-month challenge rather than a long story with interesting plot twists that you can actually create for yourself. Financial planning means looking at your whole financial picture—your cash flow, your debts, your investments, your insurance protection and more—and figuring out how to arrange all of these things so that you can confidently move towards whatever your vision of happiness looks like. Maybe, like Ario, you have a hobby you’d like to take more seriously. Maybe there are people that you’d like to see more often. Places you’d like to go. Causes you’d like to support. Or ideas you’d like to explore. One thing’s for sure—once you feel better about your money, it’s a lot easier to think about the other rewards life has to offer.