We all have goals.
Everything you plan to do, from buying your first home to building a pension pot, can be viewed as a goal, and you need to understand how much wealth you need for each one, and how quickly you need to build it.
As we explained in our Creating your Financial Future article this involves working out when you need to achieve each of your goals, and how much each one will cost. Then, you need to set up a detailed financial strategy to work out precisely how – using a combination of savings and investments – you will meet them.
Knowing the amount of wealth, you need to achieve, year by year makes it possible to track your progress, to see how much of your available income you will need to commit, and what kind of growth you will need.
It can help to think of your route to your goals as a financial roadmap – complete with progress milestones, showing how much, you should have accumulated each year. Track your progress along it to check you are still on the right track and passing the milestones you need.
But the journey to wealth and your goals might not always go smoothly.
Once you have a developed your wealth creation strategy you should stick to it – but life can include some unexpected twists and turns. Disasters, like covid or redundancy, or opportunities like a promotion or an inheritance could mean shortcuts or roadblocks along your way.
Hikes in interest rates along the way makes a review of financial goals essential. If your original strategy was made at a time when interest rates were close to zero, all the assumptions about growth rates and timings your strategy was based on will have to be looked at again.
To make sure you are on track to meet your goals, you need a formal financial review, at least every year. We have listed the questions you should be asking.
Do you need a financial health check first?
Before you look at progress towards long term goals, check your current financial position. Is your income covering your outgoings? Check your debt, including outstanding loans and credit card balances. Prioritise paying off high-interest debt to free up the resources you need for your future.
Have your goals changed?
We might make plans for life – but life might have different plans for us. Changes such as marriage, children, or career shifts can mean you need to adjust or add to your goals accordingly.
Have the goals moved further away?
Inflation can mean that your goals will cost more – in effect putting them further away. Your review should check your progress and see if you need to make adjustments.
Do you need to change your strategy?
Some investments made years ago may no longer be delivering the same performance. You may need to replace these underperforming assets.
You may need to do even more. If your review shows that you are falling behind the milestones you should have reached in your wealth creation journey, you may need to look again at the strategy you are using. Putting more into your savings or investments each month or looking for investments which can provide better prospects for returns may be required.
Your review will show if you have reached the milestones, you set yourself. Realising that you have not can be sobering, but it will show you what you need to do. Taking action now helps to avoid shortfalls and disappointments later on.
Getting some help
Getting an expert to look at your financial goals with you makes it easier to see if you are still on track, with a professional eye for analysis and forecasting.
At Continuum we can provide that expert view, but we won’t stop with a review. We can help you overhaul your wealth creation strategy, finding the investments that are suitable for you now and seeing if there are any shortcuts to the roadmap, we help you set. The chances are that a call to us now could help bring your financial goals very much closer.
For help checking your progress to your financial goals, and with finding better ways to reach them, call us today for a free initial consultation.
The information contained in this article is based on the opinion of Continuum and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation to suitable savings, Investment or retirement strategy, you should seek independent financial advice before embarking on any course of action.
The value of an investment can go down, as well as up. Capital is at risk.
A pension is a long-term investment, the fund value can go down as well as up and this can impact the level of pension benefits available. Pension income could also be affected by interest rates at the time benefits are taken.