A very common response I get from people when they hear the term “cash flow analysis” is: “forget about it – this is something for engineers or business analysts – somebody that is extremely analytical”.

I’ve got a big surprise for you! It is not about the numbers, it’s about the exercise.

A cash flow analysis is not just for business executives or financial analysts to determine an entities’ strength. This tool can be used to evaluate your own inner strength – your well-being.

Here is a quick snapshot of your life up to this point. You have worked hard for your money. You have saved all these years. You have raised a family. Now the kids are grown up and out of the house and you are finally retired. WOW! The moment you have been waiting for! Now what?

Retirement is a milestone. It is a great opportunity to start fresh, clear the slate. Taking a few minutes to sit down with your spouse to go through your income and expenses (analyze your cash flow) is a great exercise to help you think about the big picture.

With the younger crowd, the “millennials”, we focus on the numbers and address topics like determining how much you can save, the importance of starting to save early, and the impact of compounding returns.

For retirees, it is more intangible. The tool will not reveal a big surprise from a numbers’ perspective or free up a huge dollar amount of money that you were not aware of. But it will give you and your spouse a great opportunity to take a pause and think about how you envision retirement. By focusing on your big retirement picture, all of the sudden you get to answer to the most important questions: What do I really want? What will make me happy?

– Eyal Lavie