Comparison vs Purpose in Financial Planning: Forget the Joneses

Here are some steps to help you focus on the purpose of your own financial planning rather than comparing or trying to emulate what others are doing.

A wealthy couple check out the view from their luxurious home.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, especially when it comes to our finances. Social media, advertising and even our social circles bombard us with images of success and wealth. As a financial adviser, I've witnessed firsthand the detrimental effects of this comparison game on individuals' financial well-being.

In this article, we'll explore why it's crucial to shift our focus from comparison to purpose. Where we might find ourselves comparing our journey to others, we should instead embrace and embark on a purpose-driven approach to financial planning. I'll also provide actionable steps to help you prioritize your unique financial journey.

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This article was written by and presents the views of our contributing adviser, not the Kiplinger editorial staff. You can check adviser records with the SEC or with FINRA.

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Frank J. Legan
Partner, Financial Adviser, Cedar Brook Group

Frank Legan is Partner, Financial Adviser and member of the Forward Look Committee at Cedar Brook Group, one of the largest independent wealth management firms in Northeast Ohio. Frank spends his days designing and implementing personalized financial planning strategies for corporate executives, closely held business owners, artists, families and retirees. He specializes in lifetime income strategies, investment advice and estate planning services. He also works with businesses to develop strategic and succession planning strategies. He is the author of "The Humanity Factor," a book about focusing on your strengths, guiding you through a personalized, step-by-step guide to financial planning.