Life is about so much more than money.  Have you truly defined what you want out of life?  Of all those things – family, lifestyle, contribution, causes, comfort, freedom, etc. – which ones have NOTHING to do with money?  Even the things that aren’t directly connected to income or savings are still affected by them.  Some of you may want to amass a fortune.  Others want to live comfortably, but then give to and volunteer time to efforts you are passionate about.  Either way, a lack of information and lack of planning could keep you from reaching those intentions.

Money absolutely isn’t everything, but it impacts nearly every part of life – how you spend your time, the moments you enjoy with loved ones, the options you have regarding your health, and so much more.  Wisdom with money can put you ahead of someone who has a much higher income but is wasteful. Good planning can give you options to choose from in an emergency.  Having an overall strategy can help you make decisions as unexpected situations come.

When you’re about to drive to a new place you’ve never been, do you start driving randomly and hope you stumble across it by chance?  No!  Don’t you put the address in your GPS?  And then, it tells you what your route options are, what the current conditions are like, and when you can expect to arrive.  Back to my question at the beginning…  What do you want your life to look like?  What options do you want to have?  Most people don’t plan to fail, they just fail to plan.  With no money plan in life (like with no GPS), you can bounce around randomly with no idea where you’ll end up or when you’ll be there.

The greater impact you want to make in life, the more deliberate you need to be about how you’re proceeding.  The greater lifestyle you want, the more discipline you need to have.  The more you want to spend time with your grandchildren and spoil them, the more secure your retirement needs to be.

If you’re not sure about your plan, or if you don’t have one at all, then it’s time to sit with someone who can actually help you evaluate your current situation, explore your options and then set a route to get there – a GPS for your financial life!  We can be this for you.  Some financial professionals charge for consultation, we have decided not to.  Some financial professionals only represent one company, we work with more than 200!  Set up a free appointment to talk with us.  If you like what you’ve seen here and like how we do things, then we can go to work together to get you to your goals.

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Goal Check!

Can you believe we’re already done with one-third of the year!? It’s amazing how time flies! So a question… Are you where you thought you would be at this point in the year?

Many people set goals for the year, but then never really check their progress throughout the year to see if they’ll actually reach them by the end. So check in with yourself… are you one-third of your way to hitting your goals this year? Are you 33% toward your health goals? Are you 33% toward your money goals? Have you spent the time with your loved ones that you intended? Have you invested in your personal growth like you wanted to?

If any of those answers are “no” it’s not too late to make a change now to get back on track. The main thing is that you have to decide (for-real-decide) to make the goal a priority and make the needed changes right now or another 3 or 4 months will suddenly be gone with no progress to show.

The same thing that’s true within a year applies to a decade or a lifetime. Where do you want to arrive and when do you want to get there? Look at the reality of those goals. What do you legitimately have to do to make them happen?

As one example, when do you want to retire? How much money do you want to have saved by that date? First of all, I certainly hope you have answers to those questions. Next, though, is figuring out a plan to arrive there… How much do you have saved right now? How will that money grow between now and then? Is there a gap? Are you short? OK, now this next question can be the really scary one… How many months do you have left and how much do you need to save EVERY MONTH in order to reach that goal?

Some people may need to save $1000 monthly for the next 20 years. Some may need to save $20,000 per month for the next 8 years. Take a few minutes to calculate your number…

Whatever your number is, you probably have one of two reactions – either you are starting to re-think your goals or you’re starting to re-think your current lifestyle. If you’re really passionate about a particular goal – whether money or anything else – you won’t shrink your goal, you’ll find a way to fight to make it happen, even if that means making some sacrifices now.

For right now, let’s refocus on this year. What adjustments or changes will you make starting today to move the direction that you said you wanted to go? Here are a few ideas to make it happen…

For personal or family growth: Schedule a specific time for that activity and stick with it as if it was your work schedule, cut back on entertainment or time-wasting activities that don’t serve advancing you to where you want to go.

For saving money: Find where you can cut back spending (we’ve talked about that in previous posts) or maybe look for a way to generate extra money (overtime at work, a side business, etc.), and then make time to actually implement a strategy for what you’ll do with the extra cash-on-hand (we’re here to help with that!).

For health goals: First, don’t try to catch up on weeks or months of no progress all at once. Give yourself a goal by the end of the week. Nothing crazy, though – if you overdo it, you’ll quit in a week or two and that doesn’t help. Set a schedule. Decide on some food and exercise disciplines you can stick with for the next two months (if you do, it’s easy to continue after that).

Whatever you need to do, do it! You are building your future and every day counts.

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