Contributed by: Matthew E. Chope, CFP®
If you know where you’re headed, then you have a better chance of getting there. This applies in money matters and in life. To help you chart your course, try making a list of the top 100 things you want to accomplish in your life. The idea here is that if you know what you want to accomplish and what’s important to you, it might help you start on the path that will get you there.
Finance Your Goals
Along that path, I don’t think you should worry about spending money, especially if it’s towards these 100 things. This is what money was meant for. Money is not an end, but a means to an end. Part of your money is a temporary store of value to be used towards the goals in your life.
Do you think you could become president if you don’t intentionally set that goal? In my own life, I’ve seen how writing down my goals has helped me find the path to achieving them since I already know the end. Writing down goals will also help you invest in things that will lead them toward that end. You’ll be able to make choices differently than someone who has not considered what’s important to accomplish in life. Feel comfortable spending money alone this path. This is what is important to you.
Focus on What Matters
I think Oliver Wendell Holmes said it best:
“Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside us.”
I have seen many clients get to the end of their lives with much of the music still buried within them. Their time was spent focused on saving money to build wealth for financial security. Or they felt that money should not be used unless necessary. Financial security is very important, but so is finding a balance to pursue your interests along the way.
If you don’t have a list of your own, maybe you’ll get inspired by mine. I started this list in my early 20s and have tweaked it over the years. Here are some of my goals:
Fun – Travel
- Paint a beautiful picture
- Swim with a dolphin
Generosity – Giving
- Be someone’s mentor
- Make it possible for my niece to go to college
- Achieve Master’s degree
- Give many motivational and inspiring speeches
- Own a home in a warm sunny climate to escape the winter gray
- Practice meditation and yoga daily
Professional Life – Career
- Contribute to a healthy financial planning practice for 40 years
- Help 1,000’s of people reach their financial objectives in life
- Earn the right to marry someone special.
- Visit my grandparents and find out about their life as much as possible
Health / Fitness
- To practice meditation and yoga daily
- Exercise with a trainer every month to stay doing things correctly
Financial – Monetarily
- To never be a burden to anyone else
- To be financial independent by age 60
Maybe some of these categories or ideas will spark you to start your own list. I believe when you choose something (make a decision) you should put your full potential behind it. But remember nothing is set in stone. My list has evolved since I started it. After a good try, be open to changing your mind.
Matthew E. Chope, CFP ® is a Partner and Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Matt has been quoted in various investment professional newspapers and magazines. He is active in the community and his profession and helps local corporations and nonprofits in the areas of strategic planning and money and business management decisions. In 2012 and 2013, Matt was named to the Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine.
Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.
Any opinions are those of Matthew Chope, CFP® and not necessarily those of Raymond James.