In This Chapter
Defining what matters most to you
Setting and prioritizing your financial goals
Saving for unexpected expenses, a real estate purchase, a small business, or educational needs
Estimating what you need for retirement and making up for lost time
In my work as a financial counselor, I always asked new clients what their short- and long-term personal and financial goals were. Most people reported that reflecting on this question was incredibly valuable, because they hadn't considered it for a long time — if ever.
In this chapter, I help you dream about what you want to get out of life. Although my expertise is in personal finance, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't get you to consider your nonfinancial goals and how money fits into the rest of your life goals. So before I jump into how to establish and save toward common financial goals, I want to take a moment to discuss how you think about making and saving money, as well as how to best fit your financial goals into the rest of your life.
Peruse any major financial magazine, newspaper, or Web site and you'll quickly see our culture's obsession with financial wealth. The more money financial executives, movie stars, or professional athletes have, the more publicity and attention they seem to get. In fact, many publications go as far as ranking those people who earn the most or have amassed the greatest wealth!
I'm frankly perplexed at why ...