10 Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Financial Goals
At Wealth Impact Partners, one of the things we like do with new clients in our initial meetings is ask questions. But we don’t ask the questions you might necessarily expect from financial advisors.
Most people anticipate fact-and-figure questions—How much do you have here? How much do you have there? While we definitely get to those questions down the road, we’ve found that’s not really the best starting point.
Why? Because the numbers alone don’t get to the heart of the story. It’s not really about how many dollars you have or how many dollars you hope to have. It’s about what those numbers mean in relation to what you want to accomplish.
Below is a list of questions related to life goals. We’ll sometimes ask these questions to individuals or couples to find out what’s driving their financial planning and what they’re hoping we can help them achieve.
These aren’t just questions you should be talking about with a financial planner. These are questions every family should be asking and discussing.
Ask Yourself These Questions About Your Life Goals
Take a minute to go down the list and think about your answers to these questions:
- What are your top accomplishments? What would you like them to be?
- What are your personal goals?
- What are your professional goals?
- What do you do (or want to do) for your children?
- What do you do (or want to do) for your parents?
- What do you do (or want to do) for other family members or close friends?
- What do you want to do for the world at large?
- Ideally, where would you like to be when you are 45? 55? 65? 75?
- What are your quality-of-life desires (houses, travel, boats, cars)?
- If you didn’t have to work anymore, what would you do?
Now that you’ve gone through the list—did the answers come easy to you? Don’t worry if they didn’t. The answers don’t come easy to most people.
Why Is Thinking About These Questions Important?
These questions in some ways seem pretty basic and foundational. There’s nothing tricky or complex being asked here. And yet the majority of people struggle to find the answers. Mostly that’s just because they’ve never actually taken the time to think about them before.
You Need to Recognize the Dream to Realize the Dream
Busy families, marketplace professionals, business owners—particularly people who are still active in the marketplace—it’s amazing how little time they’ve spent sitting down and doing some dreaming, sharing their respective goals as husband and wife, or creating a vision for what they want their lives to be.
One of the biggest reasons people don’t do more of the things they have on their secret dream list or “bucket list” is because they remain a secret. Even amongst married couples. Sometimes people will think, “Oh that’s just not possible” so they don’t even go there. They toss those dreams somewhere in the back of their mind and they never see the light of day.
Only When You Have a Clear Destination Can You Create a Roadmap to Get There
As financial advisors, everything we do is designed to help you achieve objectives. The goals and objectives of our clients are the bullseye of any plan we design. It’s essential to understand what our clients are driving toward so we can map out the best route to help them get there.
At a basic level as human beings, we have no idea where we’re trying to go, what we’re trying to achieve, unless we can begin articulating those things and getting them down on paper. Once you do that, you can start putting more specific parameters around things—understanding what they would cost and what the ideal time frames would be.
You Might Be Amazed Just How Feasible It Is to Achieve Your Goals
When you have a clear goal, you can begin designing a plan—building scenarios to actually fund the things you want to do. This involves answering questions like: Do we have the funds now? Where are we most strategically going to source the funding? Does the plan hold up? These are the kinds of things people need to see to have the confidence to go out and do it.
The amazing thing many of our clients find as we go through this process is that not only are their dreams and goals possible, they’re actually more than feasible with the resources they have. If they would have never taken the time to reflect, and pinpoint and verbalize their goals, they may have never known the true potential they have to achieve them.
Take the Time to Define Your Life Goals So You Can Better Design Your Financial Plan
Sit down with your spouse or family, or on your own, and really dive into the questions above. Think through your answers and get them down on paper. Be as clear and specific as possible—and don’t be afraid to dream big. You never know what’s possible until you find out what’s possible.
Need a hand determining how you can make your family’s dreams and goals a financial reality? Talk to Wealth Impact Partners today.
The material contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual nor does it take into account the particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs of individual investors. Any tax advice contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended for public dissemination. Further, you should seek specific tax advice from your tax professional before pursuing any idea contemplated herein. This advice is being provided solely as an incidental service to our business as insurance professionals and investment advisors.
Neither Wealth Impact Partners, Valmark Securities nor its affiliates and/or its employees/agents/registered representatives offer legal or tax advice. Please seek independent advice, specific to your situation, from a qualified legal/tax professional.
Securities offered through Valmark Securities, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Valmark Advisers, Inc., a SEC Registered Investment Advisor. 130 Springside Drive, Suite 300 Akron, Ohio 44333. (800) 765-5201. Wealth Impact Partners is a separate entity from Valmark Securities, Inc. and Valmark Advisers, Inc. BSW Inner Circle and AES Nation LLC are separate entities from Valmark Securities and Valmark Advisors.