Financial Goals

What are your financial goals?

This section is designed to help you to start mapping out your goals.

This is the third step and another critical element in sound Financial Planning.

Too many people never define where they want to be financially and commonly end up being very disappointed where they end up.

Setting financial goals isn’t easy. And with all the obstacles in life it is a challenging one, even for the most astute.

However, there are several extremely rewarding benefits. Determining your goals will:

• Help you have a happier and more prosperous life.
• Decrease the stress in your life.
• Help you sleep better at night.
• Build your confidence in accomplishing goals.

It has been said that “if you don’t know where you are going, then any path will do”. This unfortunately is all too common in the world today, especially when it comes to financial planning.

First, list your major financial goals. Make sure to put in a time frame to achieving your goals: . Below are just a few examples. Make up your own list.

What are your Financial Goals?

• Purchase a house?
• Pay for your car?
• Go back to school?
• Change careers?
• Save for your child’s education?
• Save for a fun retirement?

Each goal takes specific and clear planning. Some goals may take months, such as purchasing a car. Other goals may take years (or decades) such as saving for your child’s education or for your retirement.

To make any goal a reality you not only need the vision of what you want (which is the goal). You also need a workable plan to achieve that goal.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with this process. You can develop sound goals, but it takes time and patience.

The larger your goal, the greater the planning that is required. For example, if you are buying a house there are many things that have to happen for you to be satisfied with your goal. Here are some of the things to consider:

• What you can reasonably afford
• Where you want to live
• What kind of house you want
• Where you will get the financing
• A myriad of other factors

Being flexible is also a key factor to achieving goals—especially the long term ones. Setbacks, changes in goals and changes in life situations which are common can and will modify your goals.

For example, many people were on track for retirement in 2008, but lost a great deal in the stock market and had to move their goal of retirement out at least a few years.

Next Step
This has been a overview to promote thinking about goal planning for for your financial future. The next step in Sound Financial Planning is Budgeting Finances.

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