Setting Financial Goals
Al Seymour, ChFC®, CLU®, CRPC®, CASL®, AEP®, CAP®
When we talk about setting goals, we are most often referring to comprehensive financial planning versus investment planning, which is about where to invest money and how should the portfolio be allocated. One of the big questions is how do you set financial goals.
It is best to simply get out a sheet of paper and write down what it is you would like to accomplish both now and in the future. When younger it might be saving for a down payment on a home, a car, kid’s education or paying off student loans. Later it may be a more intense focus on retirement, a second home or vacation travel and estate planning. Determine how much is needed, how much you will need to save on a monthly basis and when you would like to reach that goal. If you’re working with an advisor, they will discuss these goals, the different types of investments that may be appropriate and then how much you will need to save.
If you’re married, I would suggest writing down your goals separately and then coming together to place priority on your particular goals. Always include retirement because it takes many years to accumulate enough to provide for one’s future. Be realistic. When you’re younger it can become frustrating when you believe you can’t reach all your goals. Many people realize that as time goes on and they plan diligently that more of their goals can be reached. Investments are not the only things that help you work toward your goals. Sometimes insurance may help if your goal is to provide for income in case of a disability, dollars to provide for a shortfall in education funding, paying off a mortgage or providing for a long-term care event.
When you focus on goals instead of chasing returns, you may not worry as much about down markets or how much someone else is making in their portfolio. You will instead evaluate your portfolio based on the fact that your goals are specific to you. Those who stay focused on their goals know exactly how to plan for those goals. They also understand that you must create a plan of action, implement a strategy and follow up on your status on at least an annual basis. Investing alone may or not get you to where you want to go, particularly if you have no idea how much you need or how long it will take to get there! Why not know for sure.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss. Investing involves risk including loss of principal.
Securities offered through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advice offered through Independent Advisor Alliance, a registered investment advisor. Independent Advisor Alliance and Marzano Capital Group are separate entities from LPL Financial.