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Set Long Term Goals That You Truly Give a Shit About

financial planning money management retirement retirement planning retirement savings Mar 19, 2024
Young girl and grandpa having fun

What life are you planning for?

Northstar Goals

My dream as a future grandparent is to be able to drop what I am doing and help our girls with their kids any time they need it (or whenever I feel like it). It’s a “Northstar” type of goal for me; one that is guiding many of the decisions I’m making now. If, in my 60s and 70s, I can drop what I’m doing and help my family, I will feel like I’ve “made it.”

A New Gold Standard in Grandparenting

My wife and I are lucky to have had four sets of grandparents (silver lining of divorce 😂) to help raise our two girls. Over the past eight years, they have all, at one time or another, dropped what they were doing and helped us out on short notice. My mom built her work schedule around our lives for the first five years. My dad has traveled multiple hours on short notice to babysit for us.

Their sacrifices don’t go unnoticed. In fact, I am inspired by them; they’ve set a new gold standard in grandparenting that I want to reach. I want Lindsay and I to be the Jay-Z and Beyonce of grandparenting, making it look effortless but be the fucking BEST at it!

We are going to spoil our grandkids rotten, volunteer at their schools, have a home that has enough bedrooms to welcome our kids’ families back, and a cabin for everyone to gather at.  

I want to do it all.

You Can’t Help if You Need Help

My health - physical, mental and financial - will determine if I can play the role that I want to. You can influence your physical and mental health to an extent but, as I’m sure you have seen in your parents, aunts, uncles, or others, nothing is guaranteed. 

Your money - for the most part - is within your control. Being financially independent is the first checkbox - or it should be - for all retirees. If you have parents in or nearing retirement, you may feel the weight of wondering, ‘Will I need to take care of my folks, financially?’ It can cause a great deal of stress. I don’t want to cause that to my kids.

How Will We Reach Our Goals?

I’ll be honest with you - if we want to reach our goals of being Beyonce and Jay-Z grandparents, we are going to need to be rich, although thankfully, not Beyonce and Jay-Z rich. To achieve what I want as a grandparent, PLUS the other things we want, like extravagant travel and costly golf memberships, we are going to need to have a LOT of money, in addition to:

  • A paid-off house in the city (larger than we need) so our kids’ families can stay whenever they can or want to
  • No financial need to downsize
  • A paid-off cabin for the entire family to gather and a place to be handed down for generations
  • More money than we (alone) need

I have many clients who have parents with oodles of money; more money than they will ever need; more money than the kids would ever need. These clients can build their own financial plans without having to hold back because they know that Mom and Dad are taken care of. I want that for my kids.

From Here, It’s Some Planning and A Little Math

Going through a financial planning process doesn’t have to be painful. It can actually be fun! Really. If you’re doing it right, part of planning is identifying your long-term goals, which is exciting and will ease your mind that you are doing what you need to, to reach them. 

Planning revealed these big goals for us:

  1. Work optional lifestyle by the time our kids have kids
  2. Maintain current residence in retirement, have it paid for by retirement 
  3. Own cabin outright by retirement
  4. Have enough liquid assets to finance current spending (inflated)
  5. Build in emergency funds for potential medical expenses later in life

Then, we looked at how much money we will need by when, and started to make decisions about how to grow our wealth to meet those needs. It felt awesome knowing we had a clear vision and a plan to get there. It’s just math!

Talking with clients about their goals and solving this part of the puzzle for them is my favourite part of my job.

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