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Determining Your Long Term Financial Goals

by Chris Cooper, Financial Planning Expert
June 19, 2014

Question: I am scheduled to meet a financial planner soon but I was told I should be ready to talk about my long term financial goals so we can prepare something that works for me. I don’t know how to determine my financial goals for the long run. Please help.

Answer: Your financial planner should help you to quantify and then qualify your long term goals. Sounds so complicated, but really, it’s a matter of deciding on your part what you want in the future. A long term goal could be “to retire at age 55 with the same income I earn now”.

Another could be “putting my new born baby through four years of college”. Once you have something to measure, then the planner can then work backwards to determine how much money you need to save and invest on a regular basis to accomplish your goals. This is quantifying your goals.

To qualify your goals, you then discuss what challenges there are to accomplishing your goals, such as high consumer debt, student loans, too much house for your income, and other challenges. These can keep you from getting where you want to be, and the planner can help you to accomplish what you are willing to do.

Good luck to you.

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Chris Cooper is the owner and founder of Chris Cooper & Company, Inc., a fee-only financial planning firm for elderly persons and the owner and founder of ElderCare Advocates, Inc. a private geriatric care management and long term care consulting firm. As a California Licensed Professional Fiduciary, Chris can serve as  Conservator of the Person and Estate under court appointment,  as Agent under a Durable Power of Attorney for Financial matters and Health Care matters.

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