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Personal Investing: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore, Carol Fabbri, Amy E. Buttell

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Chapter 2. Set Your Investment Goals

According to Yogi Berra, “If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” Planning for long-term goals seems overwhelming to a lot of people, tedious to many others. Whatever the reason, plenty of folks forego planning and hope for the best—or claim they’ll make do with whatever they end up with. However, by not planning, chances are good that you end up in one of two situations, neither one desirable. You may save too much and sacrifice your lifestyle today needlessly. Far more likely, you’ll save too little and turn your golden years into something much less satisfying.

A financial plan means you have a shot at getting the lifestyle you want now and in the future. The good news: Creating a plan isn’t tough.

This chapter starts with the fun part—building your bucket list. Do you want to own the Red Sox, live on a sailboat, or sit on your porch swing drinking lemonade? The first step is making a list of everything you want to achieve in life. Planning for retirement may seem like a job in itself. For sure it’s one of the toughest and most important goals you plan for. If you’re like most people, it isn’t your only long-term financial plan. Whether you have kids to put through college, parents to care for, or just a bunch of fun you want to have before you kick the bucket, you have to think about several goals all at the same time.

All of them are gonna take money. So the next step is figuring out how much your dreams are ...

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