You can start by answering these questions: What is your specific goal? What obstacle do you face in achieving this goal? How can you overcome this obstacle?
Here are some examples of how to identify and set goals:
Goal: Building sufficient retirement funds
To build sufficient retirement income, you may need to invest in the financial markets through your Registered Retirement Savings Accounts (RRSPs), Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) and other investments. But how should you respond when these markets go through periods of volatility? One defense is to remain invested. If you were to jump out of the market every time it dropped, you may miss out on any rebounds that followed. While past performance does not guarantee future performance, historically the effects of short-term market fluctuations tend to diminish over a long period of time. So while the results of any particular day or week may not look good on your investment statement, the importance of these results may diminish in 10 or 20 years.
Goal: Maintaining steady cash flow
While you’re working, and others are dependent on your income to support your short-term, and long-term goals, keeping a steady cash flow is essential to meeting your daily and monthly expenses. So, it’s obviously important that you maintain sufficient earned income. But what happens if you encounter a serious illness or injury that keeps you from work for an extended period? In addition to your inability to work and generate an income, you might also have unexpected medical, or recovery costs associated with an injury or illness. As these events can result in causing you to feel a real financial pinch, you may want to consider some type of disability insurance, or critical illness insurance to manage these risks, and protect your goals. Your employer may offer some coverage as part of an employee benefit program, but it might not be sufficient, so you may need to look at private coverage. Your Edward Jones financial advisor can assist you in exploring your needs and possible solutions.
Goal: Keeping retirement accounts intact
Ideally, you’d like to leave your RRSP, TFSA and other investment accounts intact until you need to start tapping into them when you retire. But what if you face an unexpectedly large medical bill or you need to replace your furnace or get a new car? If you don’t have the money readily available, you might be forced to dip into retirement savings, incurring taxes and potential penalties and leaving yourself fewer resources for retirement. You can help avoid this setback by creating an emergency fund containing three to six months’ worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account.
Goal: Having confidence in your strategy
To help achieve your important financial goals, you need a strategy – and you need to believe in it strongly enough to keep following it during all types of stress on the financial markets. It’s not always easy to maintain this conviction – one in three of those planning to retire are thinking about retiring later due to the pandemic, predominantly for financial reasons, according to a retirement study survey from Edward Jones in partnership with Age Wave. One way to help gain this confidence is by working with a financial advisor.
The importance of receiving good advice became apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, which brought about a variety of financial worries, such as job loss, retirement considerations, caregiving for elderly parents or providing financial support to adult children. Those surveyed in the Edward Jones retirement study noted that the majority of both retirees and pre-retirees were interested in help optimizing their investments and savings.
You will face some challenges on your journey toward achieving your financial objectives. But by being resilient, you can stay on the right road.
Insurance and annuities are offered by Edward Jones Insurance Agency (except in Québec). In Québec, insurance and annuities are offered by Edward Jones Insurance Agency (Québec) Inc.