Goals for Now? Goals for Later?

How to Set Short-Term and Long-Term Financial Goals

October 9, 2018

By Colin O'Shea • Securities Analyst

Investing would be a lot easier if you had only one thing to save for. But from your first house to your retirement, you'll have different financial goals at different life stages. Your financial plan should help you meet your objectives at each stage of your life.

In the Near Term ...

When you're starting out, you may be more focused on saving for things you want in the near future -- a new car or a house, for example. Your paycheck may not stretch very far, but having a spending plan can help. Once you've identified your goals, saving even a small amount from each paycheck can help you reach them.

In the Middle ...

You may have multiple goals that you're saving for down the road: maybe a larger house and your kids' college expenses. But don't forget about retirement. You'll likely need more savings for retirement than for any other goal you have.

The middle years are important for asset growth, so consider keeping a significant portion of your portfolio invested in securities, such as stocks, with the potential for earning higher returns. Although there are no guarantees, historically, stocks have outperformed other asset classes over the long term.

In the long term ...

Your most important long-term goal is retirement. If you save and invest throughout your working years, you may be able to accumulate significant assets. Shifting a portion of your portfolio into lower risk investments as you near retirement may help you preserve your gains. You might also consider leaving some money invested in stocks can help cushion your savings from the effects of inflation. Even after you retire, holding some stock investments in your portfolio may be a good strategy.

Your situation is unique, so be sure to contact an advisortoday,  before taking action.