Keep Future Goals In Front Of You
To Keep Planning On Track
Rob Wrubel CFP®, AIF®
Planning for your family starts with writing down dreams and goals. Start with a list to help you decide what is most important today and what you need to work on for the future. My clients have wonderful, interesting and important dreams and goals. Some people want to go to Disney World every year. Others want to focus on retirement. Still others seek to create a business or living environment that will help their sons or daughters with special needs live a fulfilling life.
These visions of the future will help you stay on track as you follow the Building Blocks of getting a trust, eliminating debt and saving for the future.
Planning for your future takes times. It takes time to get out of debt. It takes time to build emergency funds. It takes saving through working years to have money to retire. Putting money to investments to fund a trust does not happen all at once.
Stay on track by keeping those dreams and commitments alive and in front of you. Find a way to keep them present in your everyday life. There are many ways to do this and you need to find a good one.
For two years I used a three ring binder to keep my dreams and goals present. This binder had pictures of places I wanted to travel, of my children and of other parts of life I wanted to see, live and feel. Each morning I took out this binder and flipped through the pictures and written goals. The pictures connected me to the feelings, desires and excitement of each goal.
My three ring binder helped me make good decisions. It gave me the focus I needed to stay on track and the reminder that my work, life, checkbook and spirit were best spent on activities that would help me reach goals. The more I looked at my binder full of pictures and thoughts of my goals, the more I remembered and called to mind the feelings I expected to have when I lived the life I wanted. It became easier to say “YES!” when something could help achieve those goals and to say “NO!” to anything that moved me away from them.
Some other techniques people use include putting pictures up on their walls or refrigerators. Take a picture of your family and put it next to a picture that represents a major life goal – like getting out of debt. That picture could be a shredded credit card statement or a balance sheet showing only assets and a mortgage. Frame your thoughts of paying off your debts in terms of all the great times, excitement and life you can have when those debt payments land in your asset column instead of being sent away to a big bank.
The most popular reward we hear from clients and the most popular life experience sought is travel. Travel includes visiting family in other parts of the country, going to new countries throughout the world or taking the RV to new states and national parks. Jump online and make your screen saver and background a shot of one of your favorite destinations to remind yourself of the goals you have once your debt is paid off. This could be the first trip you take after you are debt free and have saved enough to pay for the trip with cash.
A strong financial foundation comes when you make good choices in the best interests of your family. We are faced with distractions each day; there are always new ways to spend money that do not help us be the people we want to be and live the life we want to live. Use visual reminders that connect you and your family to the life you wish to live to stay on track.
Rob Wrubel CFP®, AIF®, is a Senior Vice President – Investments with Cascade Investment Group, member FINRA & SIPC. Rob is also a father of a daughter with Down syndrome. Cascade Investment Group is not a tax or legal advisor. You should always consult with your tax advisor or attorney before taking any actions that may have tax consequences.719-632-0818