Importance of setting yourself financial goals for the year ahead
AS WE head into 2013 it’s a good time to consider some of the main Personal & Financial Planning goals that you may wish to tackle during the coming year. It’s crucial to have some simple financial and personal goals for yourself and your family for the year ahead.
When you are considering your own financial and personal goals for 2013 it’s important to remember all goals should be – S.M.A.R.T S – Specific M – Measurable A – Achievable R – Realistic T – Time Targeted.
WHAT TYPE OF GOALS SHOULD YOU CONSIDER?
There are any number of items that may be important to you, but a good place to start are the following:
1)Income Consider your income from 2011 and 2012. Has it been growing or falling? Putting a target income figure down on paper that you wish to achieve in 2013 will focus your mind and allow you to consider what steps and actions you need to put in place now in order to reach your Income Target.
2) Savings - What is your current level of savings and how is it structured. Savings should be divided up into emergency savings for immediate use and then short term, medium term and long term savings for other uses. For example a 5 year fixed term savings account maybe appropriate for monies designated for payment of kids’ future college expenses.
3) Retirement Planning - How much progress did you make on this in 2012 or was it another year in the trenches with little time spent planning for your inevitable retirement? Assuming you have some form of Pension Plan in place, in 2013 you need to understand items such as: How has my Pension fund behaved during 2012? Have I lost money or made money? Do I know what type of Pension Funds I am invested in? Are they subject to a high degree of volatility? How have changes in my personal or business circumstances been catered for within my Pension plan? Am I setting plans in place now to ensure that I maximise the most tax free cash possible from my pension?
During the Celtic Tiger years you may have invested your Pension in riskier assets. Now that your business environment has become a more risky place in which to operate, have you considered taking some of the risk and volatility out of your Pension to compensate for these altered circumstances?
4) Business Goals for the Self Employed - These can take many forms but setting financial goals for your business has never been more important. Some of the areas that you will need targets for are: Turnover targets, Profitability, Labour costs, Clearly defined sales targets for sales staff, Cash in Bank.
5) Personal Non Financial Goals - The start of a new year is always the time when we tell ourselves we need to make more time for ourselves and family, but what structures are ever put in place for this. You may have a diary in work or some system that organises and allocates your time so that it is used most effectively, but do you have a similar system for your personal and family life?
Perhaps this year allocating time to family and personal well being will take the same level of commitment as your business calendar! I hope 2013 will bring you another step closer to achieving your financial and personal goals and continued success in all areas of your life.
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