By Rick Kahler via

What does spirituality have to do with financial planning? That was my first thought when Stephen Brody, CFP, ChFC, EdD, contacted me about being interviewed for his doctoral dissertation on “Assessing Spirituality in Financial Life Planning.” The incongruity of the idea intrigued me, so I agreed.

In order to understand Brody’s work, I first needed to know his definitions of both financial life planning and spirituality. Financial life planning is an integrated approach sometimes described by terms such as client-centered financial planning. It includes investment advising, but the scope of the engagement is much broader and emphasizes clients’ overall well-being.

Brody writes that financial life planning “is literally a matter of connecting your money and your values with your life. . . .the life of the client becomes the axis around which the financial plan develops and evolves. The client is at the center of the plan, and the money is simply the details to support a life well lived.”

Spirituality, for many people, is equal to religion. I used to believe that a spiritual person was a religious person and one couldn’t be a religious person without being a spiritual person.

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