Imagine your favourite sports team or person not having a goal. What would be their purpose every time they stepped on the field, court, track...? What would they train for? What would they strategise about with their coach?
In order to have a strategy we must have a goal first. The same can be said in all aspects of our lives. Without a goal what are we striving for?
At O'Brien's we apply this thinking to our advice for both personal and business clients, no matter what age or stage in life.
First, we talk to you about what your lifestyle goals are and seek to understand how your ideal future looks. Only once we have a clear picture of this do we start to work with you on your financial strategy.
A financial strategy without clear lifestyle goals is like a journey without a destination.
When you're creating a financial plan, it's tempting to focus purely on the money aspect – for example, how much your weekly budget is, or how much your investments are likely to grow. But if you only plan the 'how' without thinking about the 'why', the strategy you choose might not be the best option for getting you where you want to go.
So it's worth stepping back and taking a look at the bigger picture to consider where you see yourself in 5, 10 or even 20 years. In doing this you and your Financial Advisor will be in a better position to work out the right financial strategy to match.
Lifestyle goals, not financial ones
The first thing to remember is that your financial strategy isn't about making money, it's about creating the lifestyle you want. So instead of saying you want to make X amount of dollars by 2030, think about what you'd like to use that money for.
When you're setting your goals, take into account the various aspects of your personal and professional life. Depending on your situation, that may include your education, career, family plans, creative aspirations, hobbies and passions.
Different goals for different life stages
When it comes to your goals, think about the short, medium and long term. For instance, some of your goals might be achievable in the near future, like taking a holiday or trading in your car, while others might be for further down the track, like buying a new home or setting up a business.
Also think about how your goals might change at different life stages. When you're just starting out, your goals may include moving out of home and finding a job. After that, you may want to start a relationship and have a family. And once there are children in the mix, your focus is likely to shift towards education costs and putting savings aside for the future. Then later, you'll want to be well prepared for retirement so you can enjoy the lifestyle you've worked hard for.
It helps to think of your goals as steps along life's journey. By mapping out what you want that journey to look like, you'll have a better chance of enjoying each step along the way. We can help you in planning for that journey and advise you how best to achieve your goals.
Talk to our advisors, we have a whole team here to help your clarify your goals and create a plan to achieve them.