As the calendar flips to a new year, many people take the time to reflect and commit to making positive changes in their life. Some common resolutions are to take more me time, start a new hobby, or exercise to create healthy changes. It’s also a time where many people choose to take a look at their current (and future) financial situation.
Over the next couple of months, many Canadians will examine their financial fitness as closely as their physical. And after the holiday season – which is often filled with an excess of spending – they might feel motivated to “get in financial shape.”
For those of you, nodding and saying to yourself… “Where do I start?”
Your personal financial evaluation needs to start at the beginning – with a clear picture of your goals.
How to start planning your goals
Write down all your goals, both big and small, and define what those look like. This leads to a clear picture of where you want to be. From there, you and your financial planner can prioritize and create the strategies needed to help you succeed.
For example: Think about retirement as a goal. How soon you want to retire, how much priority you give this goal, and when you start your savings may determine what age you retire at, but there are other factors to consider as well.
This is where defining those goals is essential because you get to decide what you want retirement to look like. Do you want to travel the world? Stay close to home and spend retirement near your grandkids? Become a snowbird and spend winters somewhere warm? Spend more time on the golf course? Volunteer at the hospital?
The combinations and possibilities are endless, but the common theme is defining the lifestyle you envision for retirement to distill it down to an approximate annual dollar cost. This will tell you how much money you need to maintain the lifestyle you want for retirement.
Once you’ve done all this, you’ll have a well-defined goal that you and your financial planner can create a plan around. From there, you can put actions in place and create resources to turn them into reality.
With the vision for your short, medium, and long-term goals, you can prioritize the goal’s importance. Often, when we add up the ‘cost’ of all these goals, we can sometimes experience “champagne dreams on a beer budget.” By defining and ranking them, we can craft a financial plan that will help your financial dreams come true.
Ready to make these goals into a plan? Book your financial checkup today, and start planning for your tomorrow!