Broker Check
Smart Strategies: Goal Setting

Smart Strategies: Goal Setting

January 02, 2023
Share |

January is the month of renewal, goal setting and opportunity. As we move forward into 2023, what are you focused on doing differently, achieving, or working towards? All goals are not created equal. Some goals are short term, and some are achieved in pieces and parts, over a longer time frame. 

Regardless of what has happened in the past - obstacles, frustrations and missed marks, we all have the chance to do something differently going forward. It all starts with a plan and action. Don't get discouraged. You can do it!

Soccer fans rejoiced worldwide as they cheered for their favorite teams in the World Cup last month.

The thunderous, exultant cry of GOOOOOOAL is an adrenaline rush not to be missed. There is an innate joy in celebrating the success of people who train for years then play full out for the whole world to see. Such commitment...and courage!

The New Year is typically a time for self-reflection and goal setting of a different kind. While most clients aren’t world class athletes, they still have aspirations that are meaningful to them. Achieving those goals can be deeply important for a variety of personal and emotional reasons.

When setting financial goals, it may be helpful to categorize them in the following way: 

Defensive (Protection) Goals:

  • Increase your “just in case” cushion. This can be accomplished by setting up an automatic monthly transfer from a checking account to a savings or non-qualified investment account. Quarterly bonuses or periodic lump sums can also be used to build up this buffer.
  • Review your insurance policies. Make sure you have enough of the right type of insurance and that it’s competitively priced.
  • Make sure your estate planning documents and beneficiary designations are current. We frequently hear news stories about famous individuals whose estates are a mess. Their assets are tied up in probate and the family is fighting over who gets what. A good estate planning attorney can provide guidance and help avoid the hassle and grief of poor planning.

Offensive (Accumulation) Goals:

  • Increase your “just in case” cushion. It isn’t only for extra expenses and emergencies. As clients increase their liquid assets, it creates space for other opportunities, options, and adventures.
  • Increase your retirement plan contributions. Contribution limits have increased in 2023, for both workplace and individual retirement plans. Know the limits and adjust accordingly.
  • Max out your Health Savings Account (if you have access to one). Contributions are pre-tax and grow tax deferred. If used for qualified medical expenses, the distributions are tax-free. This triple tax benefit makes HSAs highly beneficial.

For Fun / Aspirational:

  • Have some fun and spend some money…with responsible saving and planning, of course! Hop on Pinterest and create a dream board. Write down your bucket list in a journal. A new year brings fresh opportunity to schedule fun into the calendar.
  • Give and Share. Helping others can be deeply meaningful and it fills our bucket, too. This can include charitable donations or sharing our time and talents.

Goals can be more than mere tasks to be completed. They can also be directional in nature and help us create a confident and satisfying life.

Here is a worksheet you can print out and use as you are planning for the new year: Goal Setting Worksheet

Also, as you are setting financial goals, this Prosperity tax reference might come in handy: Prosperity Tax Guide

Happily, many of life’s most joyful and meaningful moments cost little or no money. If they do have a cost, check in with your Financial Advisor. We’ll make any needed adjustments to your financial plan and investment strategy to help you achieve your goals.  We are teamed up to help you live the confident life!