Many of us started the year with lofty goals and a financial plan for the new year. Now that we’re past the halfway point, it’s a great time to revisit those goals and see if you are still on track to achieve them.
What are your goals?
Perhaps you began the year with a goal of reducing debt or building an emergency fund. You might have wanted to start saving for college for your children, for your own retirement, or for a major purchase like a new home. In sports, everyone knows where the goal is, and the goal never moves. Home plate is always in the same place on a baseball field. The end zones on a football field are always one hundred yards apart.
Life doesn’t work that way! If your life has changed, you might find that your goals have moved. Things that seemed like goals at the beginning of the year might turn out to be mileposts on a longer journey. Don’t let what you thought you wanted limit your possibilities for the future.
Set better goals by thinking SMART
Good goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Everyone wants to retire. Where would you like to retire? When do you plan to retire? How much money will you need in your retirement fund to make this happen? Do all of these add up to something that is realistic for you, considering where you are in life?
Saving diligently and investing wisely are essential for achieving financial goals. Most of the time, savings and investments are how we measure progress toward a goal, not goals in and of themselves. A good financial planner can help you figure out if you have enough money to achieve a goal. A truly great financial planner will help you figure out what your goals are, why they are important, and whether they really make sense for you.
Every great financial plan starts with an open and honest assessment of where you are and where you’d like to go. Be honest with yourself, your family, and your advisors about where you are and where you’d like to go. Don’t be afraid to reshape your goals based on where you are today. Having great goals is the first step in making sure your financial plan is Steady as you Grow™.
Matthew A Treskovich | CFA, CPA/PFS, CITP, CMA, CFP®, AEP®, MBA, CLU, ChFC
Chief Investment Officer