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Getting Ready

Set Your Financial Goals

Financial planning starts with setting your goals. Saving for retirement may be your most important long-term goal, but you likely have other financial goals, too. Would you like to buy a house, get out of debt, build an emergency fund or save for your kids’ college? And do you have shorter-term goals, such as saving for next year’s vacation without landing in a pile of debt, or buying a car in the next few years?

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Plan ahead to reach your goals

The sooner you start planning for your goals, the better prepared you will be to reach them. Listing all of your financial goals can help you fine-tune your financial picture. By working with a CFP® professional, you can get help to figure out how to prioritize these goals, as well as the amount of money you need to save from each paycheck to reach them.

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Working with a CFP® professional  

Balance your short- and long-term goals

A CFP® professional can also explain how you can balance your shorter-term goals with the long-term goal of retirement security. As you get older, you can start to envision retired life more clearly and can set more specific retirement goals.

How much will you need to cover your regular expenses, and what else would you like to do with your money? Would you like to save for a big family trip or a vacation home? Do you want to start a business or make a significant donation to a charity? If you plan in advance, it can be exciting to brainstorm all of the things that you would like to do in retirement, and then work with your CFP® professional to set a plan in motion to reach those goals. Your CFP® professional is also trained to help you protect your savings from risks that could derail your plans, such as a loss of income, a market downturn or the high cost of long-term care. You want to worry less about the unexpected, and spend more time looking forward to the goals you’ve been dreaming about for years.

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