Chapter 11Chart Your Goals and How Much They Will Cost

“Is now a good time to buy a home?”

I receive this question like clockwork in nearly every personal finance speaking engagement I lead. And every time, I answer that rather than try to time the market (which is extremely difficult to do), you should make sure a home purchase aligns with your personal timeline and needs.

This advice applies to a broad range of financial goals. When we don't take the time to clearly define our values and objectives, we are prone to chasing the shiny object – whether it's the type of work we think we're “supposed” to do, or the financial goal we think we “should” achieve – rather than making decisions that are truly right for us.

In this chapter, you'll create a roadmap that is specific to your individual financial needs and wants. First, you'll consider your priorities to identify a number of different financial goals, much like you did in the beginning of Part 3, when you identified what a “good” job was for you. As you delve deeper, you'll make your goals more concrete by developing a timetable and quantifying the cost of each goal. Based on your savings rate, salary trajectory, and desired lifestyle, your initial list of financial goals may not be attainable. That's okay! You'll further review your goals and prioritize, revise, or eliminate them, until you have a feasible set by the end of the chapter – providing you a clear path toward making your preferred life a reality.

Step 1: ...

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