Financial planning is a step-by-step approach to ensure you meet your life goals. Your financial plan should act as a guide as you move through life’s journey. Essentially, it should help you remain in control of your income, expenses and investments so you can manage your money and achieve your goals.
Life rarely stands still. Priorities shift, circumstances change, opportunities come and go and plans need to adapt. But regular discussion and reviews are the key to keeping on top of things. This means adapting your plans when things change, to keep you on course.
Generally, people’s financial goals change as they progress through different life stages. Here are some themes which might help you consider your own goals:
• In your twenties, you may want to focus on saving for large purchases, such as a car, wedding or your first home
• In your thirties, you may be planning for your family, perhaps school fees or your children’s future
• In your forties, your focus may move to retirement planning and growing your wealth
• In your fifties, paying off your mortgage and feeling financially free is likely to be a priority
• In your sixties, it is usually about making sure you have enough money to retire successfully
• In your seventies, your attention may turn to inheritance planning and later-life care
Other plans may also include starting your own business, buying a second home or travelling the world. Of course, everyone is different, so you might have a goal in mind we haven’t mentioned.
You are likely to have a mixture of short-term (less than three years), medium-term (three to ten years) and long-term (more than ten years) goals. Moving to a larger property might be a short-term goal, while saving for your children’s university fees might be a medium-term goal and retirement planning a long-term goal (depending on your life stage). You’ll need different strategies, and different saving and investment risk levels, for each of these goals.
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