Retirement planning is most certainly a marathon and not a sprint. It is a journey you will be on for decades, with a clear financial goal at the “finish line”. That goal is to be able to retire at a standard of living that is acceptable to you.
The total nest egg you need to save is no mystery. In fact, you will have made that calculation far in advance. So how do you stay on track? By setting clear goals along the way. These goals serve to give you stability and peace of mind.
Goals provide a purpose: every little bit saved is a contribution to your future happiness and security. The challenge of saving money and foregoing expenses should not be considered a burden but a healthy task.
Goals create accountability: if you create a set of retirement milestone goals, you will feel an intrinsic obligation to live up to them. It is helpful to create a one-page Goal Sheet with succinct bullet points. This visual aid will motivate you throughout the long journey, and provide reassurance that you are on track.
Goals are reinforcing: by tracking and assessing your progress with incremental goals, you will see how your efforts fit into the big picture. If you are achieving your benchmark goals along the way, this will reinforce your peace of mind.
The “gold at the end of the rainbow” is the fully developed nest egg. The path to it is slow and steady, and goals are a key ingredient in your journey.