"A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
With Father’s Day coming soon, I reflect as a father, and a son, on the opportunity I have to help my children have a better life. So I thought I would offer some life-changing advice. Here it is:
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Many of us wish things were different, and sometimes we just complain about it. A better strategy is to get moving on making things better. So my advice is, take time to set some specific goals. Work out the path to get there. Then get started.
SMART goals method
I recommend the SMART goals method. Make your goals:
S – Specific
M – Measurable
A – Attainable
R – Relevant
T – Trackable
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who is my client’s advocate at all times – a fiduciary advisor – and who works ONLY for my client – a fee-only advisor – I love the idea of setting goals around financial success. And I love helping clients create a SMART game plan for making those goals come true.
Make a plan and stick to it
Research shows that people who make a written financial plan are more confident of their financial success. In the recent Schwab Modern Wealth Index survey, 91 percent of people with a written financial plan where confident that they would reach their financial goals.
So, get busy. Make a written financial plan. It will give you a lot of peace of mind.
Unfortunately, many people are daunted by the idea of creating a financial plan. It can seem like problem too big to tackle. This is one reason it’s smart to get the help of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. CFPs are trained to understand all aspects of financial planning and to understand how the parts interact with each other. The training, experience and skill of a good planner will make the process go smoothly for the client.
Here are some suggestions on where to start your SMART goals for your financial life:
S – Specific: I want to be able to stop working for money by (a certain date).
M – Measurable: I will know I can stop working for money when I have (a certain amount of
money) of passive monthly income available.
A – Attainable: I will work with a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ who is a full-time
fiduciary and fee-only planner to make the game plan attainable.
R – Relevant: This sort of goal is relevant to you almost by definition.
T – Trackable: If you work with a quality planner you will have regular, annual, check-ins on
your plan and you will make adjustments along the way to be sure it still fits your situation.
Some great fatherly advice. Start saving early. As an example:
- Start saving as a teenager. Get $10,000 saved by age 20. Never add to this account.
- Invest in a low-cost, total stock market ETF. Expect about 8 percent per year average
- Let it compound until age 65 and you will have $319,204. That money can provide about
$1,000 per month of income for as long as you live.
If you want to take it another step further. Add a little to the account each month:
- Start with $10,000 at age 20.
- Earn 8 percent for 45 years.
- Add $100 per month. Never increase this amount.
- At age 65 you will have $799,781. That money can provide about $2,665 per month of
income for as long as you live.
If you like the idea of a SMART financial plan and you would like some fatherly advice, I would love to talk with you. Contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dunncreek Advisors does not provide legal or tax advice, nor is this article intended to do so.