2020 presents a unique moment in time for the 49% of Americans economically impacted by COVID-19 to set a new financial goal.
The effect of not having a financial plan during the Great Recession of the late 2000s and early 2010s meant an erasure of 20% of wealth from middle-income families. How do you think the economic impact of COVID-19 is going to affect that wealth gap now?
In 2012, only 40% of Americans thought they would be able to retire before age 70. Can you do better in a post-pandemic America?
You can — if you have your financial goal in place and take steps to reach it. Read on to find out how!
Identify Your Financial Goal
This might be your hardest step. Just saving for retirement (a goal two, three, or more decades away) or maxing out retirement accounts isn’t enough.
The economies that we’ve inherited from past generations, along with crises happening in our own time, have ensured that we cannot just rest on our laurels and assume retirement will happen. We have to make it happen.
Long-Term goals are best when broken into chunks, much like difficult work projects.
Maxing out retirement accounts are great, so is using an alternative investment company, or investing in crypto, getting a dream car, dream vacation, and so on.
Whatever your goal, make sure it’s something you (and your partner) agree is relevant to your life. Don’t make it someone else’s goal!
How To Reach Your Financial Goal
So you have your goal in mind, but how is it possible to reach it when it seems so far away? There are some initial steps for what you can achieve now, soon, later, and much later.
You can follow a SMART or “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely” strategy to get there.
- Write your goals down and sign a resolution to meet them
- Make the goal something within your power and not an impossibility
- Define what meeting your goal looks like
- Develop a metric to measure your development
- Make a deadline to keep it timely, don’t just give yourself 20 years to do it
- Don’t use another person’s goals, make it relevant to your life
As drab and unexciting as it sounds, saving where you can adds up quick.
If you can follow this plan, and continue to save on unnecessary spending habits, you can turn something as habitual as buying a daily Starbucks coffee into buying a Tesla in as little as 15 years. In all seriousness, if you can do that with coffee you can do it with other things too.
If you decide to invest, only invest a maximum of what you determine you can lose and still be okay.
Hello, I’m Your Financial Goal — Nice to Meet You
A financial goal isn’t always easy to meet, but it’s almost always possible. Only if you approach it with a realistic plan, and you follow it. Aim high or aim low — just make sure to aim!
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