George Kinder

George Kinder is known as the Father of Life Planning.
He was instrumental in bringing humanity to money by
helping clients to understand their relationship with money,
and to consider their money in the context of their life plan.

Kinder is the founder of the Kinder Institute and
the author of ‘The Seven Stages of Money Maturity.’
He is a speaker and a trains financial advisers in life planning.

Kinder has exerted an exceptionally powerful influence on my personal and professional life, so much so I can even remember the date I first met him. This was on 13 July 2004 when I attended, with only ten others, his first UK Seven Stages of Money Maturity workshop. Until that point my values had been centred around consumption, corporatism, egotism, greed, materialism, clinging, ‘you-or-me’. Kinder taught me another way, a way based on the values of contribution, community, compassion, sharing, spirituality, letting go, ‘you-and-me’.

He also taught me the life planning way of servicing my clients by helping them to articulate their life goals, recognise and deal with the obstacles to these aspirations and plan their lives and money around their aspirations.

Above all, Kinder helped me to understand the power of using open questions and empathic listening with my clients. This led to strong and long-lasting relationships with my clients and, in the case of couples, often did much to help their own relationships.

It was not for nothing that clients would say to me after an exploration meeting that they had never had that sort of conversation in all their years of marriage, and found it amazing that someone was really prepared to listen to them. That all stems from Kinder’s philosophy and methods.


Kinder was educated at Harvard, He spent much of his early career as a tax and investment advisor, during which he developed the life planning concept. He founded the Kinder Institute of Life Planning in 2000. Since then he has concentrated on training financial services professionals and promoting the life planning concept.

Positions held

1973 – 2004: Financial planner and tax adviser to individuals, small businesses and corporate clients.
2000 – present: Founder and President, The Kinder Institute of Life Planning
2000 – present: Author and Workshop leader


  • Kinder, GD. (1999). Seven Stages of Money Maturity. Dell Publishing.
  • Kinder, GD and Galvan, SE. (2006). Lighting the Torch. The Kinder Method of Life Planning. FPA Press.
  • Kinder, GD. (2011). Transforming Suffering into Wisdom. Mindfullness and the Art of Inner Listening. Serenity Point Press.
  • Kinder, GD and Rowland, M. (2014). Life Planning for You: How to Design & Deliver the Life of Your Dreams. Serenity Point Press.
  • Kinder GD. (2019). The Golden Civilisation and The Map of Mindfulness. Serenity Point Press.

The Seven Stages of Money Maturity is Kinder’s first and most important book, in which he takes the reader on a journey from the childhood phases of innocence and pain, through adulthood and increasing maturity to the vision and aloha of awakening.

Kinder follows the progress of four case studies throughout the book, using them as examples of their growing maturity around money. A practicing Buddhist, Kinder using the teachings of the eastern religions to illustrate and structure the book.

Although published in 1999, it remains popular and is often recognised in awards or recommendations.

Key quotes

‘Let the thoughts go; let the feelings be’

‘Money maturity holds the promise of a new way of living financially, one that acknowledges the whole depth and breadth of human nature, not just the greed of Wall Street or the green eyeshades of main Street.’

‘Whatever source it comes from, Pain reduces personal power and self-esteem.’

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