Do you want to start financially planning for the future? For most Americans, financial planning is an important and often underutilized tool to create a stable future. If you want to get your money on the right track, you may not even know where to start.
Starting a financial plan, though, begins with an attainable — and more importantly, free — step. That step is to define your goals. To do this, follow these three steps.
1. Write Down Goals
Begin your journey by putting a few goals in writing. Most people have an idea of what their goals are, but they often have never written them out. Committing such things to writing is also a way of committing yourself to accomplish them.
Try to make the goals somewhat specific. Rather than simply say you want to travel more, for example, you might specify that you want to take a cruise in the Greek islands or spend a week in the Canadian Rockies. Being at least a little specific will help you during step two.
2. Price Out Your Goals
Once you know what types of things you want to save for, you'll need to attach dollar figures to them. After all, saving without an end target in mind could result in everything from saving too little to saving too much to saving in the wrong ways.
How do you price out your goals? Some will be easy. If you want to save for a home, for instance, you could research the housing market in the area you want to move to. Look for comparable lots and homes in conditions you will be looking for. Then you have a price range to aim for. Similarly, if saving for a vacation, you might price out the travel, lodging, cruise, or tour as though you were actually planning it.
Other pricing issues will be harder. What you need for retirement, for instance, is a hard number for most to figure out. You may want to seek out professional assistance through a consultation with a financial planner if you're still having trouble.
3. Prioritize Your Goals
Finally, armed with a list and prices, start determining how you prioritize reaching these goals. Number them in order of importance. Do this exercise as a couple or as a family to ensure that everyone is on the same page. In order to reach any goal, your entire team must be striving for the same finish line.
Defining your goals is something that everyone can do, and it's generally free to do. But these first steps will put you on the path to greater success. For more help finding the right goals or giving them shape, meet with a certified financial planner today.Share
12 September 2019
My name is Alison, and I recently found out that I should have been saving for retirement since I first began working. I have now discovered what it takes to have a successful retirement plan, and I felt secure in my ability to care for myself once I am done working. I may even be able to retire early! I'd like to help you get your retirement plans in order and make the most out of the time you will have when you are no longer working. Let me help you understand what you need in a retirement plan and how you can get started.