How to Set Goals for Your Finances
Do you remember your first piggy bank? The sound of all the coins clinking together made a glorious chime indicating how close it was to be full. For many of us, this was the first financial goal we had and it taught us the power of setting goals (and the fun of smashing the piggy bank to get access to its treasure).
Now that we are older, we often forget the importance of setting financial goals. We can struggle to be intentional about envisioning the future or are simply too busy with the here and now to plan how to reach them.
“Setting goals helps trigger new behaviors, helps guide your focus, and helps you sustain that momentum in life,” wrote Leslie Riopel, MSc., Professor of Psychology at Northwood University.
As you look to the future, what kind of financial goals would you like to have? Your goal may be specific such as “I want to invest $5,000 this year” or “I want to retire with $2 million.” Or your goal may be more general such as “I want my family to be taken care of after I’m gone.”
Whatever your hopes are for the future regarding your finances, setting a goal can help lead us to where we want to be. And whatever your financial goal is, we’ve got some advice on how to set them.
Short-Term or Long-Term?
You may have a short-term goal such as investing a certain amount of money this year. The key to a short-term goal is to make sure that it is obtainable within the amount of time you set and that you know how to reach it.
You wouldn’t want to make a large amount a short-term goal if you can’t financially meet it. (For example, saying “I will invest $2 million this year” is only possible if you have about $166,000 each month to set aside for investments.) On the other hand, having a goal like paying off your car or investing $20,000 in a year may be able to be broken up into a more realistic rhythm.
For long-term goals, you want to be sure to go big! This may be getting the retirement home of your dreams, having a certain amount to live off of in retirement, or taking that worldwide trip you’ve always wanted. Give yourself space to dream a little bit!
Once you have those big dreams, you’ll want to work backwards to see what it will take to achieve them. This could be a monthly goal or it could be several milestones to let you know that you are on track.
Setting SMART Goals in Your Finances
Have you heard of setting SMART goals? That acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Bound.
Many times, when we set goals, we keep them general and imagine them somewhere off in the distance, without setting any real plan for how to reach them. Setting SMART goals are a great way to help ensure that your goals become concrete.
A general goal might be something like “I want to retire by 65.”
As an example, setting a SMART goal would look more like “I will invest $2,000 each month this year so that I will have invested $14,000 by December 31, 2023.” That’s specific and it’s time-bound, which allows you to plan more easily for how to reach it.
Of course, you would want to apply that concept to your unique situation.
3 Places to Start for Setting Financial Goals
If you are not sure what goals to set for your financial future, we’ve got three areas to start with:
- Create consistency. Whether you are paying down your mortgage to own your home free and clear OR if you want to make sure your retirement is fully funded, the key is to make a plan and stick to it. This could be through creating a budget, paying extra on your mortgage, or investing regularly. Being consistent in your finances is the best way to cover your basics. What goals for consistency can you set?
- Set income goals. It’s important to consider your current income when setting financial goals as well. Will your current income allow you to reach your long-term goals? If the answer is no, you may need to consider if you need to adjust your goals or begin planning for ways you can increase your income. What income goals do you need to set?
- Set goals for your total portfolio. A total portfolio means you have every part of your retirement covered from investment accounts to insurance to income. If you don’t have every part of your portfolio in place right now, the key is to work at it over time so all those elements are in place by the time you retire. Our team at 210 Financial would love to help you here! What overall portfolio goals do you need to set?
It can be hard to know what to work on first, especially when it comes to long-term goals like making sure you are set to retire. Talking to a financial planner can help you know what goals to work on first. Once you have a few goals in mind, make an appointment with our team to see ways those goals can become a reality! Schedule your Retirement Blueprint Financial Review today >>
210 Financial is more than just numbers. The “210” in our name stands for a childhood home that represented safety, love, and family. That is what we want to provide for everyone that we care for. Welcome home. Welcome to 210.
Insurance products are offered through the insurance business 210 Financial. 210 Financial is also an Investment Advisory practice that offers products and services through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM), a Registered Investment Adviser. AEWM does not offer insurance products. The insurance products offered by 210 Financial are not subject to Investment Advisor requirements. AEWM and 210 Financial are not affiliated companies.
Neither the firm nor its agents or representatives may give tax or legal advice. Individuals should consult with a qualified professional for guidance before making any purchasing decisions. Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal. A PR firm was paid to assist with media placement. 1662401 – 2/23
Content prepared by Savage Content Collective
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