Blogs > Your Money

Dave Patterson and Erin Preston, a father-daughter team of Certified Financial Planner® licensees, provide thoughts and suggestions on a broad collection of personal finance topics.  Information provided in this BLOG is intended to be of a general nature and may not be appropriate for all situations.  Readers should consult with their own financial advisors before relying on any information contained herein.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Aligning Your Money and Your Goals

With the economy struggling and the outlook questionable, it’s more important than ever to make sure your spending is aligned with your values and your goals. Many people dislike the dreaded “B-word” (budget) and in our experience few follow any sort of strict spending plan.

We won’t be surprised to see a return to high interest rates and high inflation in the not-too-distant future, coupled with very modest investment returns (inflation-adjusted after-tax returns). Stretching our income further will become more important than ever before. So, even if you dislike the idea of budgeting, you may find value in taking some time to focus your spending on those things you value most.

To do this, we suggest you take some time to give serious thought to what is most important to you and to what you value the most. If you are married, we suggest you and your spouse do this individually and then get together to compare notes. Discuss how your goals and values are different and how they are similar. Try to reach agreement on three to five key financial objectives.

We ask our clients to complete “Life-Planning Questionnaires” to facilitate this process. A couple of the questions on our questionnaire may help you discover what’s really important to you. Ask yourself what you would do if you only had two more years to live and what would be your biggest regret if you learned you only had two days to live. These questions help surface those things that are really important to you.

Next, take time to document how you are currently spending your money. We suggest you track your spending for at least a couple of months. You may discover in this process that you are spending a lot of money on things that don’t really offer a payback in terms of your real goals and values. Adjust your spending accordingly and you will enhance the quality of your life while at the same time stretching your dollars further.

You may even discover that a change in career is in order. If you are passionate about your work, it can provide you with a new, more affordable way to retire. In his book “The New Retirementality”, author Mitch Anthony explains how many people can avoid having to accumulate a large sum of money to fund their retirement by working at a job they love. If you love what you’re doing, there’s no need to quit at age 65 or even 70. If you love what you do, you can scale back and enjoy partial retirement, thereby reducing the amount of money needed for retirement.

Few people take time to sit back and think about where their life is headed. A growing number of financial advisors now help their clients with this new approach called “life planning”. Seeking help to align your spending with your goals and values may well be worth the cost.

(For more information about life planning, visit the web sites of Mitch Anthony (www.financiallifeplanning.com) or The Kinder Institute of Life Planning, founded by George Kinder. )

2 Comments:

Blogger Charles said...

Achieve your goal

It is not only convenient to get anything from a math degree to a psychology degree online, but it can also be less costly than traditional college or universities, too. Often, since online schools do not have a physical campus, they do not need to charge as much for attendance. Things like housing, campus building upkeep and cafeteria facilities are not typically offered, and so the cost of attendance is just tuition and books. In addition, most online education programs offer some form of financial aid. And the cost of online degrees earned from an accredited institution can often be offset with federal financial aid as well………….

reach your goals

April 7, 2010 at 5:29 AM 
Blogger Bradley said...

Achieve your goal

It is not only convenient to get anything from a math degree to a psychology degree online, but it can also be less costly than traditional college or universities, too. Often, since online schools do not have a physical campus, they do not need to charge as much for attendance. Things like housing, campus building upkeep and cafeteria facilities are not typically offered, and so the cost of attendance is just tuition and books. In addition, most online education programs offer some form of financial aid. And the cost of online degrees earned from an accredited institution can often be offset with federal financial aid as well…………..


reach your goals

April 20, 2010 at 8:06 AM 

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