I’ve been advising clients for 15 years and I’ve been in thousands of financial planning meetings. Typically, good financial planning is goals- based. Clients come to an advisor with an idea of their ideal future and the advisor lays out the most efficient and effective plan to achieve that future. But what happens if a client doesn’t know what future they want? What good is a plan based on goals that may not be authentic to the client? These are great questions and I think the reality is that all goals are simply guesses of what we think will likely make us happy in the future. Goals can change over time and are more fluid than most people understand. At the same time, the best financial planning oc- curs by planning way ahead, giving the client the benefit of compound interest. The irony is that we must plan ahead for a future reality, but with flexibility because our goals may change.
So, what is a client to do? We think the best course of action is to use some basic categories to set the kind of goals that you’d be happy with in any scenario. These create a baseline financial plan that you can build on. This baseline will create the foundation and allow for tweaking as the future evolves. Below are four categories (and some examples in each category) that you may find helpful in setting goals for your exciting and evolving future:
1. Traditional Goals
2. Milestone Goals
3. Lifestyle Goals
4. Philanthropic Goals
We hope this brief article helps you reflect on the ideal future you desire, and also gives you permission to change your mind as you learn and grow. If you want more tips on living well, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Facebook.
Brad Weeks uses LiveWell Capital as a marketing name for doing business as a representative of Northwestern Mutual. LiveWell Capital is not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency or federal savings bank.
Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI (NM) and its subsidiaries. Brad Weeks provides investment brokerage services as Registered Representatives of Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS), a subsidiary of NM, registered investment adviser, broker-dealer and member FINRA and SIPC. Brad Weeks is an Insurance Agent of NM.