A fundamental aspect of financial planning is to help clients achieve their goals... yet the unfortunate reality is that some clients have difficulty even identifying productive goals in the first place. And for some, even upon achieving their goals, they find the outcome unsatisfying, resulting in a new, greater goal of "more" in a never-ending cycle. To say the least, many clients find that setting and achieving their goals does not result in the happiness they anticipated.
In this guest post, Dutch financial planner Ronald Sier shares some insights about the latest research on money and happiness from Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton, Sonya Lyubomirsky, and more, who have found that in fact there really are some ways to buy happiness... or at least, ways that money can be spent that is more likely to result in happier outcomes, from spending on experiences (rather than stuff), spending on others (not yourself), spending money to "buy" time, or directly spending to many small pleasures rather than a few big ones.
While many financial planners question whether it's appropriate for an advisor to "tell their clients how to spend their own money" the research suggests that some financial planner wisdom could go a long way in helping clients to really derive a bit more happiness from their money. And of course, the guidance is equally relevant to advisors who may be looking for a little more happiness around their own money, too!