Are you dwelling on the past, worrying about the future or are you living in the present?
In my previous article one of the things I wrote about was having a plan that mirrors your present stage of life. I want to continue that thought here.
What you do now impacts your future. With a good plan in place you should be able to work toward achieving your future requirements or desires without sacrificing current peace of mind. If things are in balance, your current financial situation will be put in order first, followed by planning for, and putting, your financial future in order. At the same time, you will be ready to adjust or defer future considerations in order to deal with any difficult financial issues that may arise right now. That may be a short- or a long-term adjustment. In the present economic and financial climate, setbacks can occur in a hurry and without warning. A defensive mindset is probably best for the near term. That is, your first priorities should be debt elimination and building a savings cushion. If those two areas are in good shape more emphasis can be placed on other objectives such as saving for near term goals or for retirement.
So, for example, a recent college graduate may have retirement objectives, but he or she must deal with current financial realities also. Are there student loans to pay off? Is there enough income for current spending and saving? Does money need to be set aside for a car or a house? Should saving for retirement be deferred for a while?
For someone who is more established vocationally and financially it will be easier to begin addressing long-term objectives. A good savings and spending plan will be in place for current needs allowing funds to be set aside for future needs such as retirement, saving for your children’s college and other financial objectives.
What about after you are gone? Are you planning to leave some type of inheritance to your children, grandchildren, relatives or friends? Are you planning to leave money or assets to a charity or non-profit? Future planning for current peace of mind in these areas should include a will, healthcare and financial powers of attorney, trusts if needed or desired and provision for the care of minor children.
You have to address these issues early so that you make the decisions instead of decisions being made for you or in your absence.
It is great to have financial goals and objectives. Proper priorities and objectives will enable you to be content about your current financial state, both now and in the future.