Written by: Miesha Davis
The financial resilience of many Americans took a major hit over the last few years. Millions are working to rebuild savings, improve credit, and pay down debt. Help the people you serve stay on track to reach long term financial goals by connecting them to their future selves.
Financial hardships experienced over the last few years left many people with decreased savings and increased debt. After working hard to recover from a financial emergency, some people may need further inspiration to continue towards future money goals. Our Future Self Tool is designed to help financial educators motivate and support clients as they tackle longer-term financial goals, using exercises that strengthen people’s connection to their future selves. These goals could include rebuilding savings to aid in financial resiliency, or it could include longer-term goal like improving credit or saving for retirement.
Research shows that people who feel a strong connection to their “future selves” are more likely to make financial decisions that benefit them in the long run. People can increase their connection to their future selves by vividly and realistically imagining themselves in the future. In turn, this stronger connection leads to actions that can help secure their financial well-being in the years ahead.
The Future Self Tool is an experiential, future oriented, and motivational tool to help you guide the people you serve as they think about their future. It complements other goal setting and financial planning tools by:
- Providing three practical and interactive exercises for a personalized experience,
- Focusing on goals that are three or more years into the future, and
- Encouraging clients to identify meaningful action steps toward long-term financial goals.
People that you work with on a recurring basis (i.e., two or more sessions) will benefit most from this tool. It can be applied at multiple stages of a financial education or coaching relationship. For example, it may be helpful as part of early conversations about establishing long-term goals or later sessions to help motivate people to take actions to reach those goals. Make sure to do the exercise when it is a relevant and timely manner for them.
Appropriate for clients who:
- Have a long-term goal for their financial well-being
- Want to build their financial resiliency
- Need additional motivation toward their goal
- Can complete the exercise with a financial educator or coach
Not appropriate for clients who are:
- Currently experiencing a financial crisis or any other kind of emergency
- Only working on immediate financial goals
- Not able to work with an educator to complete the exercises