Goals first, strategy second
If you haven’t figured out your lifestyle goals for the future your financial strategy is like a journey without a destination.
When you’re creating a financial plan, it’s tempting to focus purely on the money aspect – for example, how much your weekly budget is, or how much your investments are likely to grow. But if you only plan the ‘how’ without thinking about the ‘why’, the strategy you choose might not be the best option for getting you where you want to go.
So it’s worth stepping back and taking a look at the bigger picture with your Financial Adviser by considering where you see yourself in 5, 10 or even 20 years, you’ll be in a better position to work out the right financial strategy to match.
Lifestyle goals, not financial ones
The first thing to remember is that your financial strategy isn’t about making money, it’s about creating the lifestyle you want. So instead of saying you want to make X amount of dollars by 2030, think about what you’d like to use that money for.
When you’re setting your goals, take into account the various aspects of your personal and professional life. Depending on your situation, that may include your education, career, family plans, creative aspirations, hobbies and passions.
Different goals for different life stages
When it comes to your goals, think about the short, medium and long term. For instance, some of your goals might be achievable in the near future, like taking a holiday or trading in your car, while others might be for further down the track, like buying a new home or setting up a business.
You should also think about how your goals might change at different stages of your life. When you’re just starting out, your goals may include moving out of home and finding a job. After that, you may want to start a serious relationship and have a family. And once there are children in the mix, your focus is likely to shift towards paying for their education and putting savings aside for the future. Then later, you’ll want to be well
prepared for retirement so you can enjoy the lifestyle you’ve worked hard for.
It helps to think of your goals as steps along life’s journey. By mapping out what you want that journey to look like, you’ll have a better chance of enjoying each step along the way.