Planning for the Future

What does your future look like? Although we cannot predict what it will look like, we can take steps like making a priority list and setting goals that will help give us a better idea of what our future could look like. The ideal way to begin is by taking time to really think about what you want in life, both financially and non-financially. What are your values and what is important to you; what are your needs and wants?

Once you have taken the time to do this exercise, you can then establish time frames in which to achieve these goals by breaking them down as shown below:

How do we start? Think about money on a strategic level; in other words, earmark your income for different purposes, this well help you visualize each goal you are trying to reach. In the examples below, the term saving is where you keep money that is accessible (like for an emergency fund); it may earn only .005 – 1% as the goal is to be able to access these funds quickly.

The term investing is when money is placed in the stock and bond market where it has historically earned approximately 10% annually. This means in 7.2 years the money invested could double (See: Rule of 72). Please note that the stock market is not guaranteed and can be very volatile and in the long term over 5 to 10 years usually performs very well.

Begin by establishing short, medium, and long-term goals - here are some examples:

Then you can move on to SMART goals

S: Specific, M: Measurable, Attainable, Realistic/Relevant, T: Time Bound

Here’s an example of a SMART goal:

You want to save $1,000 by December 31. If we started at the beginning of the year, we would need to save $83.33 monthly or $19.23 weekly to achieve this goal.

How can you keep this money separate from other funds? Many of my clients that have successfully reached their goals established a separate savings account, this account is different from their emergency savings fund. They’ve mentioned that this method prevents them from dipping into the account.

I am always learning from my clients and several have shared that once they had established a list of goals, they had a better idea of the future. They often feel this gives them more control in their lives even in these uncertain times.

What does your future look like? For more information please reach out to us, we’re here to help.

The Save First Blog

This is a financial blog designed to help you meet your financial goals. Our team of financial educators, counselors, and coaches discuss relevant topics for everyday financial matters.