By Steve Ciaccio, MBA, CPA, Wealth Advisor
Setting goals for several years, and often decades, in the future can seem like a daunting task. However, it can actually be a satisfying experience both to set your goals and to begin working toward them. When you begin to get your arms around the issue, you will feel more control over your life, and you will feel more comfortable about it.
Here is an easy method that I often recommend to my clients. The first step is to list your current expenses, just as they are. It is as simple as tracking your spending for a month or two, remembering to add in expenses that come quarterly, semi-annually, and so forth.
The next step takes a bit more thought, but is probably the most satisfying part of the process. It could take multiple sittings. If you are married or have a life partner, it might take multiple discussions. Go through the thought process in small bits at a time.
Ask yourself, and each other, where you would like to live when you retire. Will your house be larger or smaller? Will you have a mortgage? Will you have one car, or two? Consider all of your current expenses in light of what your retirement will bring. Be sure to include expenses that you don’t have now, but might have in retirement. Develop a vision of yourself in retirement as you would like to enjoy it. In today’s dollars, what will your retirement income and expenses be? Be realistic in view of your current and future income and expenses, as well as both positive and negative contingencies.
Bring your information to a Wealth Advisor. He or she should be able to use your information, and likely additional information, to develop a plan to help you work toward your goals.
Your goals will probably be a work in progress for quite some time. They will change as your situation changes. However, by having achievable goals and working toward them, you will begin to take control over your financial life, and you will likely feel better about your future.
All the best to you!
Steve Ciaccio is a Wealth Advisor and founder of Ciaccio Wealth Management, located at 232 South Batavia Avenue, Batavia. He can be reached at 630-454-4599 www.CiaccioWealth.com. The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific investment or tax advice or recommendations for any individual.
Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Copyright Steve Ciaccio 2014