Life has its own way of rearranging personal financial goals. What was important yesterday may be less important today, and even less important tomorrow. Therein lies the conundrum. How do we identify and set financial goals that will be just as important in the future, when the future is so uncertain? The answer can be found by looking at future events that are certain to occur.
There are a number of events that will mostly likely occur. Here is a list of a few such events:
- In the future every person on the planet now will be older than they are today.
- A great number of individuals who are alive now will not be alive in the coming years and decades.
- Our health will continue to decline.
- We will all have times of financial excess and, for most of us, times of financial need.
- Employers will hire and our businesses will succeed, and employers will fire us and our business ventures will fail.
- Taxes and state and federal tax reporting requirements – be it income, payroll, property, sales or other taxes – will always increase.
This short list provides some valuable insight into what will be important to you in the future. Here are a few financial goals that might be fitting given the above certainties:
- It is never too early to start planning for old age, including saving for retirement, figuring out where you want to live and how many years you hope to work, and what you hope to do if you opt not to work until your dying days.
- It is wasteful not to prepare an estate plan so that you can say who gets your assets and when and life insurance is almost always a good bet.
- It is always a good idea to obtain disability insurance sooner rather than later, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will save you money in the long run, setting up and regularly contributing to a health savings account at an early age is advisable.
- Having a savings or emergency fund in place will help smooth business and employment transitions and financial downturns and you must keep up with and build upon your business contacts and business skills to remain competitive.
- Structuring your affairs for tax efficiency can help reduce your tax reporting requirements and liabilities and setting up and regularly contributing to a Roth IRA or other already taxed account is advisable.
Enjoying life more by planning and saving for a vacation or other outing or saving to help a worthy cause, family member, or friend are also worthy financial goals given these certainties.