Overcoming Obstacles to Achieving Financial Goals
We are in the goal business. Helping people define, refine and achieve their financial goals.
What does it take to achieve and surpass financial goals?
- It takes willpower. Remember the “protestant work ethic” of delayed gratification? Starting early and staying with a plan is a key component to attaining financial success.
- It takes resources. Income in excess of expenses is the primary means of developing resources to put towards goals like retirement, housing, education and travel.
- It takes knowledge of knowing where you’re going and if you’re on track to get there. That’s called feedback. You need a mechanism to keep you informed of your progress and to alert you to altering your actions to stay on track or ahead of schedule.
Now what are the most frequent obstacles we see that prevent goal achievement?
- Procrastination. Lower priorities take over disposable income and not enough resources are directed to higher priority, but longer-term goals. Parties, video games, you name it. In our society it’s easy to become diverted by slick marketing, peer pressure, and poor habits.
- Lack of resources. Decisions that affect expenses whether they are day-to-day living expense decisions or long term debt decisions like student loans lead to an inability to save adequately for long term financial goals.
- No goals in the first place. We call this the “seat of the pants” plan. Without a roadmap any highway will take you there. The majority of baby boomers might fit into this category. For most of them it’s too late and they are going to work many more years and retire at a much lower standard of living than they otherwise might of because they never planned ahead.
So what can we take away from this discussion?
- It’s never too late to plan although the longer you wait the harder it is.
- It takes discipline and a denial of other counterproductive opportunities.
- It takes a feedback mechanism, including coaching in some cases, to stay on track and “know when to hold ’em and when to fold them” (thanks to Kenny Rogers).
As 2014 enters the last few months of the year, we want you to be thinking of goals and what you will be doing next year to achieve them. Good Luck.