• Life Planning 5-Day Intensive Training based on Lighting the Torch
  • Mentorship

The prerequisite to participation in the Life Planning Training is the completion of the 2-day Seven Stages of Money Maturity® workshop or equivalent

The Life Planning Training provides 25 CEU's for CFP®'s

The purpose of the Life Planning Intensive is to teach financial planners the methodology and process that deepen and extend the financial planning relationship into one that integrates core life values and goals into the comprehensive financial plan, integrating these values and goals with financial or money goals. The textbook for this course is Lighting the Torch: The Kinder Method of Life Planning by George Kinder and Susan Galvan. For testimonals from past attendees, scroll down the page.

Partnering with another financial advisor, participants switch roles back and forth, with each acting as both client and advisor for each phase of the professional Life Planning process.

Extensive work is done on accessing deeply-held personal goals and aspirations for a life worth living. Goals are identified, sorted, time-lined and assessed for potential obstacles and financial implications. Advisor and client collaborate on both the articulation of a life vision and the obstacles that may arise. Scenarios are developed to further the goals and address the obstacles. Working together, client and advisor arrive at a proposed “life plan” which is then integrated with financial strategies. No investment advice is given, only planning functions are addressed.

Advisors learn and practice professional relationship skills, including effective listening and communication skills, empathic mirroring, facilitating motivation and enthusiasm, dealing with emotional pain and resistance, and coaching skills for execution. Advisors also learn how to recognize their own emotional responses to client issues, and how to set those aside to avoid unduly influencing clients.

There is discussion of the methodology throughout, combined with practice sessions at each phase where each pair is observed by the trainers and the whole training group, followed by concise and constructive feedback. In this way, all participants not only work within their own pair, but also observe their peers at work and are able to benefit from the variety of approaches and techniques demonstrated.

One half-day is spent on basic counseling principles, the dynamics of working with couples and families, and conflict resolution. Another half-day is devoted to practice management issues related to integrating a Life Planning approach into an existing financial planning practice.

Mentorship: Upon completing the residential training, graduates may elect to continue their training as they begin to integrate what they have learned into their practice by participating in the Mentorship program. It is a six-month program involving bi-weekly online case seminars for the whole training group, to discuss individual experiences with clients; email correspondence with a mentor; and a monthly one-hour group teleconferencel. Upon completing the Mentorship, participants will become Registered Life Planners of the Kinder Institute, and featured on our web site as such.


Overall I think the week was awesome.  The concept of life planning and the EVOKE model are perhaps the most powerful model I've ever seen for planning.  My biggest insight during the week was that every financial planner/stock broker/insurance agent talks and plans from the head - they talk about why their approach is the smartest/best/most efficient, etc.  The life planning approach that Susan and George teach is planning from the heart - a much different approach.  I have had 4 new client meetings since the meeting, all 4 are moving forward, and I think that much of it is because of this difference.

-Jason Maples,CFP®, Colorado

The 5-day Life Planning Intensive Training has allowed me to take a mixed-up jumble of thoughts and existing processes and have them re-ordered over the space of a week. I can now create an ordered methodology that can be applied consistently to client situations.

-Dennis Hall, UK

I will fully integrate financial life planning for all future financial planning clients and will offer it to existing clients. I plan to charge on a retainer basis. I am looking forward to the mentoring program to inspire and cement my process.

-Rich Chambers,CFP® , California

Understanding the process and seeing my own life plan unfold is of incalculable value in being able to do this for clients.

-Judy McHale, CFP® , Colorado

The 5-day Life Planning Intensive Training has re-energized me. It’s provided the tools and a process to help clients find their true passions in life.

- Matthew Chope, CFP® , Michigan