Some people have a very clear idea of what they want to achieve and how to get there. For others who are less certain, the first step to setting goals is to jot down a few ideas about what you would like to achieve over different time frames – the short, medium and longer term.
When we talk about investing, the short term is usually around 1-3 years. So your goals over that timeframe could look something like this:
Establish a budget that helps you spend less than you earn
Start a regular savings plan
Buy a new car
Save for a holiday
Next, think about what you would like to achieve over the medium term – that’s the next 3-5 years. Over this period, your goals may include:
Grow a deposit for a first home
Be in a financial position to start a family
Take the family on an extended overseas holiday
Finally, your long term goals will reflect what you would like to achieve over five or more years. These may include:
Give your children a quality education at your choice of school
Upgrade to a larger home
Enjoy a comfortable retirement
The goals we’ve suggested here are just a guide. Your personal goals will vary according to your lifestyle, your priorities and your life stage.
And they will change – not just because you’re getting older but because of your ongoing life experiences and changing personal preferences. The main point is that with a set of objectives in place you have a good starting point to develop a plan of action to achieve your goals – even if these goals are refined over time.