Identify prioritise your goals and create a plan to get there
A financial plan seeks to identify your financial goals, prioritise them, and then outline the exact steps that you need to take to achieve your goals. Figuring out your objectives and matching them with timelines are the keys to setting financial goals. Your financial goals are specific and unique to a number of factors related to you, like your age, your interests, current financial situation and your aspirations. Based on these, you need to develop your goals and establish a plan to achieve them.
If your New Year’s resolutions include giving your financial plans an overhaul, here are our financial planning tips to help you create a robust financial plan for 2020 and beyond.
Be specific about your objectives
Any goal (let alone financial) without a clear objective is nothing more than a pipe dream, and this couldn’t be more true when setting financial goals.
It is often said that saving and investing is nothing more than deferred consumption. Therefore, you need to be crystal clear about why you are doing what you’re doing. This could be planning for your children’s education, your retirement, that dream holiday, or a property purchase.
Once the objective is clear, it’s important to put a monetary value to that goal and the time frame you want to achieve it by. The important point is to list all of your goal objectives, however small they may be, that you foresee in the future and put a value to them.
Keep them realistic
It’s good to be an optimistic person but being a Pollyanna is not desirable. Similarly, while it might be a good thing to keep your financial goals a bit aggressive, being overly unrealistic can definitely impact on your chances of achieving them.
It’s important to keep your goals realistic as it will help you stay the course and keep you motivated throughout your journey until you get to your destination.
Short, medium and long-term
Now you need to plan for where you want to get to, which will likely involve looking at how much you need to save and invest to achieve your goals. The approach towards achieving every financial goal will not be the same, which is why you need to divide your goals into short, medium and long-term time horizons.
As a rule of thumb, any financial goal which is due within a five-year period should be considered short-term. Medium-term goals are typically based on a five-year to ten-year time horizon, and over ten years, these goals are classed as long-term.
This division of goals into short, medium and long-term will help in choosing the right savings and investments approach to help you achieve them, and it will also make them crystal clear. This will involve looking at what large purchases you expect to make such as purchasing property or renovating your home, as well as considering the later stages of your life and when you’ll eventually retire.