How To Know What Your Goals Are

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Have you ever asked a child what they want to have when they grow up? Believe me, you’ll typically get some entertaining answers. And better yet, keep asking “Anything else?” There’s always more. A few examples of responses you might get look like:

  1. A million puppies and all the ice cream I can eat!
  2. A mansion, a speed boat, a fighter jet, a racecar, a butler, a pool with a water slide and no bedtime.
  3. A family that always smiles.
  4. Pizza with gummy worms instead of pepperoni.

But as we get older and life gets busy, our desires change from wanting a million puppies to wanting something(s) a little more realistic. For some of us, that something is a new car or home. For others, that something is more time. And for many of us, we have a large number of things we dream to have and/or achieve. Yet, the majority of us get caught up in the day-to-day business we deal with just to get by. This quick read is intended to motivate you to stop letting life pass you by, so you can start tackling goals one step at a time.

I work at a top wealth management firm helping families and individuals pursue their goals every day. But there’s much more to achieving our goals than simply making money on one’s investments. Why? Because no one’s goals are met by simply having money. Money is, more often than not, just a sub-set of a much larger picture. So, what’s the first step? We need to know what our goals are. The top wealth management firm I work at has multiple CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals who understand that many clients don’t necessarily know what their goals are yet. We’re armed to ask our clients the right questions, so they can determine what their true purpose is in life. And once we come to some conclusions on our clients’ desires, it’s at that point that money becomes a topic of conversation; by the way, that part of the conversation is usually the boring part clients don’t want to deal with. However, believe it or not, there are many ways to get ourselves excited about the typical “finance things” clients hear from their financial advisors. An example of this is called mental accounting, which in essence means having a separate account for each respective goal you’re trying to accomplish. For example, instead of titling your 401(k) “John’s 401(k),” why not look at it as, “John’s account for spending more time with his wife & kids”? Or maybe, “John’s account for fishing every day instead of sitting at a desk.” The way we view our money motivates us, makes us laugh and allows us to stay more in tune with what really matters in our lives. It keeps us focused on accomplishing our goals so we’re able to live our lives now while also saving for the dreams we have in the future.

Whether your goals are unknown, composed of buying a new home, starting a gummy worm pizza shop or retiring early, there are questions that need to be answered, which typically involve some financial backing. Talk to someone in personal wealth management who’s able to learn about you, educate you on how money can be used as a tool and then excite you about what your money can be used to build.

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