Im­por­tance of set­ting your­self fi­nan­cial goals for the year ahead

Bray People - - YOUR WEDDING -

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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