A plan is just that… a plan. It’s not absolute. It’s not final. It’s an aspirational intention, paired with tangible actions to push you from where you are to where you want to be.
Your money is arguably one of the most important parts of your life and deserves thought, attention, and energy. That’s why planning for your finances, now and later, is essential. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
At Elements Wealth Management we call the steps along your financial plan targets… and we’re here with advice on setting them for your future. These include timelines and people to consider in your plans, plus goals designed to ensure you’re living a life you love for years to come.
We know guidance from a Financial Advisor can push these plans toward reality, so we invite you to reach out for a complimentary conversation to discuss how we could be involved in setting and maintaining your goals for years ahead.
WHEN’S THE TARGET?
Whether you carefully follow a calendar day-to-day, or you’re more go with the flow, creating timelines for your future can set you up for success. Ask yourself:
- When do I plan to retire? This might be soon, or many years away. Either way, understanding the timeline you desire can help you work backwards to set goals in the meantime. It’s never too early to start the planning process, including considering what kind of life you wish to live in your later years.
- When might I need to access my retirement savings? Retirement looks different for everyone. Just because you plan to retire from your full-time employment at a certain age doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to start dipping into long-term savings immediately. For instance, you might plan to have a part-time job or primarily live on the income of a spouse if you retire at different times.
- When will you receive Social Security, and will you immediately take it? Typically, the longer you hold off on taking Social Security, the more cash you will eventually receive. It’s best to understand these options early on so you can maximize your Social Security benefits.
- When might I need long-term care? While we certainly can’t predict our future health needs, thinking about how you may finance them is important. Prioritizing your wellness now and making steps toward a healthier lifestyle can lead to fewer expenses in the future.
WHO’S INVOLVED IN THE TARGET?
Life is about people, so involving them in your planning process as you set targets is a key way to work toward success. Ask yourself:
- Is my spouse or partner involved in the financial goal-setting process? Everyone has different priorities, so clearly understanding this person’s vision of the future can create alignment. Whether you’ve chosen to manage your finances together or take a separate approach, finding commonalities will be important for long-term success.
- Do I have goals related to my children or grandchildren? Maybe you dream of funding your next generation’s education, purchasing their first car, or helping with a mortgage down payment. Understanding how these milestone costs for your family fit into your plan and reviewing with your Financial Advisor can help ensure you’re not overspending on these items and endangering your personal savings needs.
- Do I have a valued Financial Advisor? The value of a Financial Advisor can be significant. When challenges arise, a financial professional can step in to help you overcome impulses and biases that could prevent you from achieving your objectives. Taking time for an initial conversation could have an impact over the rest of your life, so reach out today!
WHY THE TARGET?
Adding purpose to your plan makes your goals more realistic and exciting. Having targets that are reasonable and meaningful is one way to feel good about your goals. Ask yourself:
- Have I carefully considered the realities behind my financial targets? While living on a beach during retirement may sound glorious, consider factors that could limit realizing that reality – such as proximity to family, needs for long-term care, and cost of living. While dreaming big is always encouraged, a Financial Advisor can help you evaluate if these aspirations are logical and achievable.
- What makes me happy? Sometimes, it’s the big things like purchasing new cars, homes, or traveling the world. But oftentimes, it’s the small things like grabbing that morning latte or donating to your nephew’s little league fundraiser. While the large items are easier to plan for, the little things in your financial plan should be carefully considered in the goal setting process since your day-to-day happiness matters most!
- What can I do to make the world a better place? We all have causes that matter to us… maybe it’s a cleaner environment, maybe housing the homeless, or maybe it’s something that’s uniquely impacted you or a family member. Whatever the cause, making progressive strides to improve it has priceless value and helps you to feel a sense of purpose in life. Take these big picture thoughts into consideration when evaluating your future financial plans.
We get it — finances can be stressful. Yet, when you bring your when, who, and why together, planning can be easier. Whether you’re looking to set some targets, or you’ve already established a plan, we’re here for you every step of the way. Reach out today to discuss your unique situation!