Six tips for setting meaningful long-term financial goals

Published on: January 28th, 2022

Long-term financial goals are a critical part of any financial plan, and while achieving them can be decades into the future, meaningful goals should be used to guide your financial and life decisions today. Here are our top tips for setting long-term financial goals.

#1 Start with the end

When setting your goals, it’s essential to think about the end result. When it comes to our money, for many of us, the ultimate goal is financial freedom. What would that look like for you? What would it enable you to do more or less of? Visualising this is an excellent way to think about the goals and milestones that will help you get there and keep you on track when life inevitably throws some curveballs.

#2 Focus on achieving balance 

This is what we call living for today while planning for tomorrow. While it can be enticing to get caught up in how quickly you can reach a goal, we don’t know what is around the corner, so it’s important to make sure you are also making the most of life today.

On the other hand, it can be easy to fall into the trap of living too extravagantly today, but the goal should be about balance. Focusing on achieving this balance rather than giving up everything today in service of tomorrow will help you stay motivated.

#3 Use goals as a compass

When making any short-term financial decision, bring your long-term goals into the conversation because the decisions you make today can have an impact far into the future. Of course, you need to weigh up today and tomorrow. Sometimes, it’s right for you to adjust your long-term goals, but being aware of the potential consequences is a must.

There are some great strategies you can use when making financial decisions, and having a framework is key. You can read our tips for thinking differently about your financial decisions here.

#4 Align your goals with what’s important to you

While much will change throughout your life, aligning your goals with your personal values is a great way to stay on track. Some of us have a strongly defined sense of our values and what’s important to us, but it requires a little more thought for others. You can access our free values roadmap here to get you started.

#5 Revisit goals regularly

Many people fall into the trap of thinking long-term goals are fixed, but life changes regularly, and you will likely need to adjust these goals along the way. Keeping these goals current and relevant to changing life circumstances is a must to ensure they don’t fall by the wayside and that you are able to live your best life.

#6 Protect your financial future

Once you know what you want to achieve and you have your goals in place, it’s vital that you protect them from the unknown. Too often, personal insurances are viewed as an unnecessary expense, and as a result, underinsurance is a real issue in Australia today.

The reality is that we don’t know what life will bring, so protecting ourselves from the financial implications is an investment in your future.

#7 Speak to your Apt Adviser

Your Apt Adviser is here to act as a personal finance coach who champions you to achieve your goals and helps you understand the short and long-term impacts of life and financial choices. The support of your adviser can prove critical every day, but even more so in times of uncertainty, whether personal or – as we have seen in recent years – global. In fact, a recent university study into financial advice in a crisis highlighted how clients receiving advice “felt informed and reassured, generally did not panic and maintained behaviours consistent with their long-term goals.”

Your goals are at the heart of our advice process to ensure you live life to the fullest – whatever it may bring, so speak to an Apt Adviser today to get 2022 off to a great start.

General Advice warning

The information provided in this blog does not constitute financial product advice. The information is of a general nature only and does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be used, relied upon, or treated as a substitute for specific professional advice. Apt Wealth Partners (AFSL and ACL 436121 ABN 49 159 583 847) and Apt Wealth Home Loans (powered by Smartline ACL 385325) recommends that you obtain professional advice before making any decision in relation to your particular requirements or circumstances.