Clients frequently ask, “How do I set goals and are they realistic and achievable?” That question is complicated and specific to each client or household. Goal setting is the process of determining what future outcomes an individual wants to achieve. It is a function of many things, including existing resources (resources = assets), future resources, current income, future income, household structure, timeline, and many other factors. Seraphim Wealth Advisors (SWAI) likes to approach the goal-setting process from both a bottom-up and back-to-front perspective.
Taking the bottom-up and back-to-front approach means we simultaneously look at the current financial state of a household and combine it with desired outcomes that the client seeks in the future. Goals can be buying a first house, planning for a child’s education, retirement, or anything that the client deems critical. Identifying resources (both existing and future) is a critical component of the process as it allows our firm to help the client be realistic about whether their goals are attainable given the client’s specific situation.
The critical word in the previous sentence is realistic. Setting goals that are not realistic can be demoralizing for a client. Working, planning, and saving day after day and making little progress toward achieving one’s goals often leads to a feeling of hopelessness and many individuals state that they eventually tune out. SWAI, like most advisory firms, creates a process for clients that allows them to break their goal achievement process into manageable pieces (short, intermediate, and long term) that the client can use to measure progress and use as a barometer for adjustments as needed. The earlier you start, the higher the chance for success!
Eric Wimbush, CFA, is available to discuss your goals at email@example.com or 404.271.0067.