With the encouraging news of a COVID-19 vaccine around the corner, it’s a perfect time for people to start dreaming about and planning to travel again. While traveling may be different in the foreseeable future, its core value remains – to make lifelong experiences and memories with the people you love most.
As our spending habits continue to shift away from buying things and towards buying experiences, prioritizing travel in your financial life is more important than ever. Traveling provides you with something to look forward to, especially as we head into another dreadful New England winter. It provides you with the opportunity to explore the world, experience different cultures and teach your kids about different ways of life. Most importantly, traveling provides you with the much-needed time off to step away from work and focus on experiencing life with your family and friends.
The problem is that travel is often not prioritized in our lives. We get caught up in the daily grind and it can be difficult to take a step back and be intentional about how you want to plan travel and take time off with your family. The thought of planning a trip can be exhausting which makes us revert back to our routine and maintain the status quo. Well, Experience Your Wealth wants to help clients with this.
Beginning in 2021, Experience Your Wealth (EYW) will be offering an exclusive and complimentary travel planning services to their ongoing clients. Our mission is to help clients live their best life – one that they won’t ever want to retire from. We believe providing this service to clients will help them make travel and time off a priority, experience the most out of life and allow us to better plan their financial decisions to make it possible.
Who will EYW be teaming up with to make this possible? Introducing Carpe Diem Traveler.
Who is Carpe Diem Traveler?
Carpe Diem Traveler was founded in 2016 by Susie Chau. Susie is originally from the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio and now lives in Chicago, Illinois. She had a career in Management Consulting before she and her husband Jan decided to take a year-long career break to travel the world. During their career break, they traveled to all 7 continents, 22 countries and 22 US states. To date, she has been to 49 countries and 47 US states which provides her with the unique ability to tap into her travel experience and connections to help clients turn their travel dreams into a reality.
Today, Carpe Diem Traveler provides a full range of travel consulting services to clients including creating a customized travel road map, specific trip planning for individuals, families and groups and even sabbatical planning for those looking for a longer time off.
Susie and Jan also welcomed their first child, Donovan, in July of 2020. As a new mom, she can understand the unique challenges that young families face when traveling with their kids which is very valuable when helping young families plan their travels!
How does the Carpe Diem Traveler & Experience Your Wealth partnership work?
All ongoing EYW clients will receive annual travel and time-off consulting services from Carpe Diem Traveler for free. EYW will pay Carpe Diem Traveler on behalf of all clients who utilize their services. The depth of services will vary based upon the EYW fee level that the client is in.
EYW clients will meet with Carpe Diem Traveler in January and February of each year to help plan out their upcoming time off and travel plans. By making this a priority and having a professional guide you through the process, EYW clients will be more intentional about taking time off with their family and experiencing the most out of life. This type of accountability will help clients step away from the daily grind and know they have a dedicated time and expert to help make travel actually happen for their family. Having the ability to tap into Susie’s extensive knowledge will save EYW clients precious time and eliminate the countless hours of research that travel planning often entails.
Carpe Diem Traveler will also provide budget projections for travel which takes the financial uncertainty out of the picture and allows EYW to better assist clients with their cash flow strategy for the upcoming years. Rather than letting financial decisions drive travel, we can allow travel to drive financial decisions with the proper planning.
How does travel consulting impact financial planning decisions?
Financial planning is a continuous process instead of a one-time thing. The only certainty in financial planning is that things will change – your goals, values, financial situation, career, family, etc. While it’s important to set a long-term strategy, it’s best to break everything down into an annual plan to allow the flexibility to accommodate these changes.
The heartbeat of financial planning is your cash flow which is why it’s critical to understand your spending. By working with Carpe Diem Traveler, clients will gain clarity into the cost of their desired future travel plans and allow us to make the necessary adjustments to your cash flow to make it possible.
For example, let’s say you have developed the following desired travel plan:
- 2021 – Rent an RV and visit US National Parks for 10 days
- 2022 – Amalfi Coast in Italy for 10 days
- 2023 – Antigua for 7 days
- 2024 – African Safari for 14 days
Carpe Diem Traveler would be able to provide proposed dates, costs, etc. so we take the financial uncertainty out of the picture and have a more engaging conversation about how to make this travel plan financially possible. Looking at this plan, we know that 2022 and 2024 will be the most expensive trips and 2021 and 2023 will be less expensive trips. Therefore, we would be able to make the proper financial adjustments such as:
- Opening a separate travel savings account and setting up automatic transfers to it on a monthly basis.
- Reducing spending in areas that can be cut. Spending less for the sake of spending less can be difficult. But how would you feel about spending less so you could take an African Safari in 2024? You’d probably be more open to it!
- Altering the amount you save into long-term investment accounts, especially in 2022 and 2024. Yes, it’s important to save for the future, but it’s okay not to max out your 401(k) in 2022 and 2024.
- Pausing saving for your kids’ college in 2022 and 2024. While saving for college is important, you can also be creative in how you invest in your kids’ education. Traveling with your kids exposes them to different cultures, foods, history, etc. which can be an incredibly educational experience within itself.
- Weighing the opportunity cost of different expenses. What is more important to you – renovating the kitchen or funding the African Safari? Having this travel plan acts as a constant filter that you can run other expenses through so you understand the opportunity cost of decisions.
Now, would I ever recommend withdrawing your full 401(k) to pay for a trip? Or go into credit card debt? Absolutely not. But it’s okay not to save as much in certain years as long as your long-term investments remain intact.
Let me tell you a secret. Splurging on an occasional dream trip will not significantly affect your financial future. Will you have less money in the future? Yes. But will you have an experience rich life and long-life memories? Yes. You don’t want to have too much or too little money…it’s that simple.
I feel comfortable advising clients that saving less in certain years is okay when you plan to earn income longer throughout life. The idea to stop all meaningful work and no longer earn income at age 65 is literally unhealthy. You need the mental stimulation, social interaction and sense of purpose that comes from work. The key is to plan to do something you love when you want, where you want, and how you want in a way that fits your dream lifestyle. When you generate income for longer, it decreases the amount of money that you need saved up along your journey which allows you to experience your money more throughout your life.
By incorporating Carpe Diem Traveler’s services into EYW’s ongoing client service model, we are able to guide clients to have more meaningful conversations about what is most important to them and provide the financial guidance to make saving for the future while also experiencing their best life today possible. Our goal is for EYW clients to never to look back and wonder what if. We help them put their dreams on the table and guide their financial decisions to make those experiences possible.
Experience Your Wealth receives no type of financial benefit from Carpe Diem Traveler. Experience Your Wealth is completely impartial when making the decision to pay for Carpe Diem Traveler on behalf of clients.
None of the information provided is intended as investment, tax, accounting or legal advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as an endorsement, of any company, security, fund, or other securities or non-securities offering. The information should not be relied upon for purposes of transacting securities or other investments. Your use of the information is at your sole risk. The content is provided ‘as is’ and without warranties, either expressed or implied. Experience Your Wealth, LLC does not promise or guarantee any income or particular result from your use of the information contained herein.