Tis the Season

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By Ed Maass The Pineapple Staff Writer

While most, if not all of us, are somewhere between beginning our holiday shopping, or finishing the last few items, this time of year we begin thinking of the wishes, wants and needs of the upcoming year. I recently conducted my very own unscientific survey and nearly everyone I spoke with has one (or a combination of) the following three goals for the New Year: lose weight, quit smoking, save more money. While I can’t help with the first two, I might be able to offer some insight into the third. Let’s face it, wouldn’t we all like to know that the choices we make with our money are smart and that we are right more often than wrong. It all begins by getting your financial house in order. I use the term financial house because like a house, which has many rooms and hallways, so does your financial well-being. Your financial well-being may include; debt reduction, paying for college, buying a house, or vacation home, retirement investing, having a new baby, getting married, getting divorced and, of course, saving more. If you want to increase the likelihood of achieving your financial goals for 2013 and beyond, please read on. First, you must set your sights on a clear and specific target and focus on the bull’s eye. If you don’t have something to aim for, then you certainly have little to no chance of hitting it. Whatever you seek to achieve, you must first identify the end result that you desire (the destination or target). Its one thing to say, “I would like to achieve this or that,” but quite another to actually do so. Throughout the years I have found that most people have good intentions and desires, but unfortunately do not take the necessary actions to secure the end result. Long ago I discovered that there are two key components towards achieving goals, whether financial/investment, business or personal.

To begin, you must set a realistic goal. If you set the bar too high it may lead to disappointment, and, more often than not, failure. The second is to write down the goal, starting with the end result, and then work backwards on that which is required in order to achieve it. Remember “If you don’t know where you are going…any road will take you there.” If saving more money is the goal, you need to determine: How much more? In what period of time? How will you do it? Will it be through increased income, investment returns, spending reductions or some combination thereof? You might also want to begin the New Year by paying yourself first. Yes you read that right, Pay Yourself First. Set up a systematic (automatic) savings/investment plan and faithfully deposit into your account each and every month, just like you would pay your electric bill, car payment, rent or mortgage. While many of you reading this will certainly have the best intention of putting your financial house in order, the vast majority will not. It’s just easier to put off doing it until a later time, which in turn, means it doesn’t get done at all.

“Big goals can create a fear of failure…. Lack of goals guarantee’s it”

HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON AND A PROSPEROUS GOAL PLANNING NEW YEAR!

Ed Maass is a Certified Financial Planner, Chartered Financial Consultant, and Chartered Life Underwriter. Located in Downtown Delray Beach, you can contact him directly at 561-272- 0663, or by email at Ed@physicianswealthcare.com