Goal setting is an important step in organizing your assets and setting yourself up for financial success and security. Financial goal setting begins with thoughtful consideration of what you want to achieve and then requires a strategic financial plan to ensure you are on track to reaching your goals. 

As we progress through different stages of life, our priorities tend to shift. As a result, so do our financial goals. Annual financial planning gives you the opportunity to assess your financial situation and make a plan to ensure your financial affairs and investments are in line with your objectives. Our team of financial professionals can help you to develop short term, mid term and long term financial goals and keep you on track to ensure you achieve your desired outcomes. 

This month’s blog from The RaeLipskie Partnership will outline the importance of goal setting at various stages of life, defining the importance of short term, mid term and long term financial goals and how to develop a financial plan with milestones and life stages in mind. 

What are financial goals?

Financial goals include savings, investments, spending targets or achievements that you hope to attain over a period of time. These objectives are usually determined by the stage of life that you are in and the direction and trajectory of your personal, professional and family life. 

As you enter into different stages of life, it is only natural that your financial commitments and obligations change. As a result, developing various financial goals that are in line with your current life stage and future milestones will help you achieve financial security while also investing in life’s next steps.

In order to adequately establish your financial goals, develop a SMART strategy (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely) to ensure each desired outcome is both realistic and quantifiable. A RaeLipskie financial advisor can assist you in developing a SMART strategy for each of your goals to successfully measure your financial progress overtime and understand your financial objectives while developing the appropriate financial strategy for you. 

You can read our blog How to Match Your Investments With Your Goals in 2022 here, to learn more about the SMART criteria when developing your investment goals.  

Short term financial goals 

Short term financial goals consist of actionable steps that can be taken to organize your finances in the immediate future. 

Examples of short term financial goals include:

  • Establishing a budget 
  • Developing a debt repayment plan 
  • Contributing to an emergency fund

Establishing a budget is a small but mighty step when working towards all financial goals. By developing a budget and staying within it, you are managing your spending and evaluating your immediate expenses. When working within a budget, you are better able to track spending and implement a strategic investment plan for the future, based on your current situation and stage of life. 

Developing a debt repayment or management plan is a key strategy for successfully investing in your future. In order to manage your financial expectations, you should take into account your debts owed and work to incorporate a realistic payment plan into your monthly financial plan. By working to pay off debts owed, you are reducing your financial burdens and achieving short term financial goals, which give you the confidence and momentum you will need when embarking in future, larger financial endeavors. Once your small financial debts are paid off, you have leftover funds to put towards your mid term and long term financial goals. 

An emergency fund is a sum of money that is set aside specifically to deal with unexpected, emergency financial expenses. When starting an emergency fund it is best to start with a small sum of money and contribute on a schedule that is realistic for your current financial situation. An emergency fund is beneficial in the event of any emergency or unexpected financial expenses that you otherwise would not have disposable income to cover.

Short term financial goals are good practice in order to develop a successful financial plan and to achieve smaller financial objectives. By establishing smart money management strategies and implementing them into your financial plan in early stages of life, you are setting yourself up for financial security and capacity for developing mid term and long term financial goals.  

Mid term financial goals 

Mid term financial goals tie short term and long term financial planning together. Mid term financial goals refer to investment plans and strategies for affording or paying off larger expenses. Mid term objectives can also come with some of life’s greater milestones, like paying off your education, purchasing your first home, planning a wedding or having a child. While these investment plans are made with your future in mind, they are not as lofty as long term financial goals which require many years of planning and saving. 

Mid term goals rely on a portion of your income to be set aside in your savings, to then be used towards larger expenses, ultimately achieving your objectives. You may establish and achieve multiple mid term financial goals throughout your lifetime, on a cycle of saving, spending and replenishing to achieve your financial objectives. 

Once you have thoughtfully considered the goals you want to achieve, The RaeLipskie Partnership can help you to develop a tactful financial plan to appropriately invest and save your money in order to achieve these mid term goals, while also developing financial security and stability for your long term goals. 

Long term financial goals 

While some long term financial goals and milestones seem very far away when you are young, like saving for your children’s education or retiring, they are some of the most important expenses to consider and begin saving/ investing for. 

For example, setting up an RRSP when you are young is a key step in developing a sound financial plan for your future, making retirement and future financial security a priority. Or beginning the process of saving for your child’s education when they are young to ensure there are funds available when they start to make plans for their own future and schooling. 

Long term financial goals are objectives that usually come with a larger price tag and a longer timeline for repayment or accumulation. Long term goals require thoughtful financial planning and consideration of your future objectives, for yourself and your loved ones. In order to appropriately understand the kind of savings plan you need to achieve your long term goals, it is important to estimate the kind of financial expectations and burdens you are going to have, and begin implementing a savings plan over time. While this strategy will likely evolve over time, and shift as your expenses, income, and financial situation change, it is important to make these goals a constant priority. 

The RaeLipskie Partnership takes time to provide a thorough analysis of each client and their particular needs, designing tailored portfolios with this key information in mind. Our team works to remain flexible and adaptable to the changing needs of our clients while reflecting a clear, long-term philosophy toward the accumulation of capital. 

Our financial professionals can assist you in your long term financial goals and investments to get you on track for your future expenses. Speak with an advisor on our team to establish your financial goals and regularly review your portfolio to make your financial goals a reality. 

Like our personal lives, our financial priorities change and evolve over time. It is important to develop a sustainable financial plan that you can review and reevaluate over time, to meet your personal, professional and familial needs. The first step is outlining clear, concise and reasonable financial goals. 

Achieving your financial goals takes time, consideration and commitment. While the constantly evolving stages of our lives may impact our short term and mid term investment goals, it is likely that our long term investment objectives will remain the same. For this reason, The RaeLipskie Partnership emphasizes the importance of consistent money management with wealth accumulation and future financial security and freedom in mind. 

If you are interested in speaking with a financial professional from The RaeLipskie Partnership about setting the right financial goals for each stage of life, contact us today!