Creating a Financial Roadmap for 2021

With the new year only two months away, I think it’s safe to say we’re over the physical, emotional, and financial rollercoaster of this past year and it’s never too early to start looking ahead to what’s next.

Right now is the perfect time to re-evaluate your financial situation. After all, there’s nothing like a global pandemic to help you see where your strengths lie and where you can use a little help.


Ask yourself: During these tumultuous times, were you happy with the quantity of your emergency fund? How about the quality your investments? Take some time over the next couple days to think about how the global pandemic has impacted you personally.


In my own practice, I’ve come to understand with greater certainty that black swan events are a normal part of life. Balancing this scarcity-oriented perspective with most people’s desire to check a few goals off a bucket list (including retirement) has only reinforced the need for proper financial planning; bringing me to the reason for writing this blog.

When dealing with personal finances, it’s important to have a clear picture in mind for what it is you want it to achieve. Then, by creating a financial roadmap, you’ll know exactly what you need to achieve it. Only when you have this roadmap in place can you implement a financial plan that’s uniquely designed to meet your needs and wants. Like any plan, the more detailed it is the less likely you’ll be impacted by otherwise life altering events.

Your answers to the following 3 questions will be your financial roadmap during your lifetime. From there, you can start implementing your plan as needed and ultimately checking those goals off your bucket list.

 

Where Are You Going?

Start by writing down 3 goals you may have for 1 year from now. Write down 3 goals you may have for 5 years, 10 years, 20 years, and 50 years from now. Keep in mind, these goals can be lifestyle, family, work, or business related goals.

For now, try to keep the focus on what it is you want and not on what you must do for other people or on money. Thinking about responsibilities and money can be stressful enough as it is, I want you to let yourself dream a little here.

If you’re having trouble thinking of things that you want, just follow these prompts:

  • If money wasn’t an issue I would…
  • The thing I value most in life is…
  • If I could do anything I would…
  • My dream job is…
  • I’ve always wanted to travel to…
  • Since the time I was little I’ve always wanted to…
  • My ideal retirement age is…
  • I’m most happy when…

These goals will help give you direction for where you want your life to go.

 

Who Are You Bringing?

In this section, you’ll be adding on a layer of responsibility for people and community.

First, write a list of the people you want to impact the most during your lifetime. These could be your spouse, kids, grandkids, business partners etc. Alternatively, you can also write down a list of causes and charities you are passionate about supporting.

Then write down a few ideas of how you want to positively impact these people. If you’ve written a few different names or charities, then also include different ideas for each individual or charity on your list. Be as specific as you can but try to focus on other people’s needs and wants and not on money just yet.

If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas, just follow these prompts:

  • I want to be remembered by…
  • I want to provide for…
  • I want to teach/empower…
  • I want to be a leader to…
  • I want to make a difference in…
  • I want my children to have…

These people and organizations will help fulfill you on your journey.

 

How Are You Getting There?

Finally, turn your focus towards the money.

Write down your current financial plan. Include the value all savings, investments, real estate, CCPC shares, and insurance that you own. Also include the value of any debts and/or future cash needs you may have and any financial strategies you’re implementing. If applicable, write down 3-5 reasons you are satisfied with your current plan and/or 3-5 reasons you’re not satisfied with it.

If you’re not satisfied with your current plan, write down a list of ways you want to improve it. Take into consideration your goals from section one, and the impact you want to have on the list of people and organizations from section two. Think about how these improvements to your financial plan can help you accomplish what you’ve written down in both sections.

If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas, just follow these prompts:

  • I value family/flexibility/security/peace/freedom/independence/growth/competence
  • I want financial security/growth/liquidity/tax-favouring
  • I’m interested in predictable results/no capital loss/guaranteed cash accumulation/competitive returns/high contribution limits/guaranteed loan options/collateral opportunities/unstructured loans/tax deductible contributions/tax deferred growth/tax free distribution/tax free death benefit/creditor protection/by passing probate

Further Action Steps:

  • Create or update your budget for 2021
  • Come up with some if this/then that scenarios
    • ‘If [insert problem] happens, then [insert solution] is what I’ll do.’
    • ‘If [insert pleasant surprise] happens, then [insert next step] is what I’ll do.’
  • Research financial products and strategies to meet your current and future needs (working with a financial professional as needed)

Knowing what you can and can’t control can go a long way in helping you financially prepare for the curveballs life throws your way. This last section will help you clarify how you’re going to accomplish what you’ve set out to do.  It’s also going to help you determine if the journey is going to be a wild ride or a comfortable, stress free one.

With your roadmap in place you can now update or implement any new financial products and strategies with your financial professional.

All the best in your financial journey,

 

Ashley Lalonde


Looking for a safe place to put your money? There’s no better place to build wealth WITHOUT risk than in an Infinite Banking policy. Learn more here.

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