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Life Stages: Transitioning From Human to Financial Potential

July 16, 2013
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By Jonathan DeYoe

Learn more about Jonathan on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor

Our lives are a transition between potentials.  We start with immense human potential and end, hopefully, with a powerful and steady financial potential.

Human Potential

When we are born, everything we can do and will be lies before us – we have a tremendous human potential.  We “own” nothing and all of our assets are in our ability to learn (at first), and innovate, produce and sell ourselves (at last).  The more education (both academic and life experience) we get in our formative years, the greater our ability to transfer this human potential into a powerful financial potential—while at the same time enjoying everything life has to offer.

When we continue to educate ourselves, learn new skills, learn how to use new tools and add to our expertise, we are building our human potential. There is no limit to what we can learn to do.  At some point, we start to employ this potential in work.  Through the application of our effort and intellect, we begin to change the nature of our potential energies from human potential into financial potential.

Financial Potential

We invest a large part of our lives in the work of trading our effort and intellect for many forms of compensation. Financial compensation is necessary, but certainly not sufficient, for happiness.  The financial compensation we receive literally sustains us (pays the rent, buys food, creates opportunity), and allows us to build an entirely different type of potential:  financial potential. It is the sum total of spent human and financial potential that in hindsight we reflect upon as our lives.  The rest, either by accident or through careful planning, is transferred from what was our human potential to what will be our financial potential.

Transitioning Into Retirement

The goal of “retirement income planning” is to completely replace one’s human potential to sustain and enjoy life with financial potential that allows you to do the very same thing.  With people living longer and healthier lives, many are relying upon their human potential longer and longer.  But at some point, you want financial potential to take over.  You want to be able to sustain your lifestyle (and the rising costs associated with it) without having to employ your human potential.  Whether you choose to or not, you want to have the option to rely completely upon financial potential. And, assuming you do not need to or choose to rely upon that financial potential, you can pass your excess  financial potential on to your heirs and your community.

True Wealth is having the freedom to choose which form of potential you will draw on for your sustenance and enjoyment in this life.  Without developing your financial potential, there is no choice and there is no freedom.

Jonathan K. DeYoe, AIF and CPWA, is the Founder and CEO of DeYoe Wealth Management in Berkeley, Calif.  Want more information? Follow DeYoe Wealth Management on Facebook at or Twitter at @DeYoeWealth.

Jonathan DeYoe, California Insurance License #0C21749, is a registered principal with and securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor – Member FINRA/SIPC.

The opinions voiced in this material do not necessarily reflect the views of LPL Financial and are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations to any individual. For your individual investing needs, please see your investment professional regarding retirement planning.

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