Key #4 – Set long-term goals
It’s a privilege for Family Life Radio to partner with other ministries, agencies and businesses across the nation—all of whom share the vision to help others experience hope in the name of Jesus. This month, please meet Brian Cochran and John Moore from John Moore Associates, a respected financial advice company founded on biblical wisdom.
Six keys to your financial wellness
Brian Cochran, CKA®, CFP®, Financial Planner
Setting goals is helpful in all aspects of life, but it is essential for wise financial decision-making. Without clear objectives, we leave ourselves open to short-term influences of fear, greed and culture. By setting long-term goals, we can thoughtfully and prayerfully seek God’s will. This is why setting long-term goals makes the list of Keys to Financial Wellness.
- Spend less than you make
- Be prudent about debt
- Build liquidity
- Set long-term goals
- Act like a manager, not an owner
- Give generously
You may have experience setting goals related to your career, education, faith, relationships or physical health. As a Financial Planner, I have met people who have set and achieved exceptional goals in all areas of life but never set a goal for their finances. Some people do not take the time to think about money, and others have trouble talking about money with their spouse, while many feel ill-equipped to address the topic. Whatever the reason for not setting financial goals, it is never too late to get started!
As a follower of Christ, your goals should always start with God’s calling for your life. Start with prayer and seeking God’s will. Isaiah 32:8 says, “But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.” What noble causes does God have in mind for HIS wealth under YOUR management? If you are married, be sure to include your partner in the pursuit of God’s plan. Once you know God’s vision for your future, you can begin to develop a goal. I like to use the following formula:
$ Goal = How much + When + Why
The timeline and dollar amount will help you determine how much you need to save each month or year. The “Why” helps determine if the goal fits your values and God’s plan. Here is an example:
I will save $20,000 (how much) by May 2025 (when) so I can serve on a mission trip to Africa in celebration of my son’s graduation (why).
Most families develop financial goals with at least one key component missing. For example, I often meet with people who want to retire. Their goals usually sound something like I want to retire when I’m 62. That is not enough information to consistently make the hard decisions required to meet a daunting financial goal like retirement. We can round out the goal by adding an amount and a purpose. I will save enough to withdraw $80,000 per year starting at age 62 so I can leave my career and spend more time with my grandchildren and volunteering at my church.
I encourage you to set financial goals for all key areas of your finances. Share your goals with an accountability partner. Check on your progress at least twice a year. Not sure how to meet your goals? Consider hiring a professional to set a wise course.
John Moore Associates is not affiliated with Family Life Radio
Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of John Moore Associates or Family Life Radio
More Keys to Financial Wellness: