Throughout life there are various points where key financial decisions need to be made that involve a substantial amount of money or which can take you off on a different path. Aside from the usual ones of buying a first home or starting a family, there are such dilemmas as:
- Should I leave employment and set up a business?
- Should I sell my business?
- Should I undertake a major renovation of my home?
- Should I buy a bigger, more expensive home?
- Should I use some of my retirement savings for a big overseas holiday?
Such decisions affect your financial situation now and for years to come. The best way to find the right answer is to start with your end goal. This will be a goal that has a time frame of ten years or more. If you don’t have a ten year goal, develop one. Take your thoughts to a time ten years from now. See yourself on one particular day in that year and imagine all the different aspects of your life on that day. Where are you living? Who are you with? What are you doing during the day? What is your financial situation? and so on. It is only when you have a clear picture of your end goal that you will have clarity around your short term decisions. There are many paths to achieving a goal and you need to decide if you want to take the path that will get you there in the shortest time, or go via the ‘scenic route’ that takes longer but provides more enjoyment along the way. Start with your end goal, then look at the impact on your goal of each key financial decision. Will this get you there faster or with more enjoyment? If not, don’t do it.