To achieve your financial goals, you must understand Why money is important. Once we have built that framework, we can craft your Statement of Financial Purpose, which helps guide your financial decisions and help you achieve your retirement goals.

Carl Richards devised the framework for building and crafting a Statement of Financial Purpose. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ and creator of the Sketch Guy column, appearing weekly in The New York Times since 2010. He is also the author of the Behavior Gap Radio podcast.

First, you must understand why money is important to you, which we work on developing during our first meeting.

This question is based on Simon Sinek’s work and one of the most famous Ted Talks, Start with Why? He explains it as the fundamental core of what inspires you. It is the spark that drives you. “…Why is money important to you?”

This is an uncomfortable question because you aren’t used to thinking about money in those terms. But it’s one of my favorite questions to ask.

The purpose of this question isn’t to think in terms of goals. It’s to go deeper than that to understand why you have specific goals.

Now, we can start crafting your Statement of Financial Purpose.