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Live a more productive life with SMART goals

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Live a more productive life with SMART goals

Many people don’t set goals. And, if they do, they might say that they want to make more money than last year, but they don’t have specific targets, timelines or an actual plan as to how to do so. Basically, it’s just a vague hope.

Plan and accomplish

Setting goals is a habit that you have to practice. By doing so, you will create a mindset that will shift your pattern of thinking, and you’ll end up pushing the limits of these goals, so that you can achieve them faster, and with ease.

Make sure that your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely (S.M.A.R.T.) With this in mind, you’ll be in a position to optimize your RSPs, your taxes and your financial future.

An example

I’m going to use myself to illustrate what I’m talking about. At the age of 34, I said that I wanted to own five homes by the age of 50. Then I changed my goal, and said that I wanted to own 10 homes by the age of 50 – now it’s 50 by 50. At the age of 40, I now own five homes, and only two of them still have a mortgage. So, my old goal is now a thing of the past – on to the next one.

Setting goals is a habit that you have to practice

S Sit down with the adults in your family and discuss upcoming repairs, events and plans, such as whether the house might need a new roof this coming year, a pending lease or renewal date, and a long-awaited family holiday. Once discussed, make note of them. The sooner you start thinking about these things, the easier it will be to make them happen.

M Meet with your financial planner and have a conversation about what income tax bracket that you’re in, as well as the contributions that you made throughout 2019. A five-minute discussion will save you thousands of dollars each year in income taxes.

A Adjust your savings and investments to match your comfort level. If you made more money in 2019 than in 2018, perhaps you deserve a raise. Incrementally increase your savings to match your income. Small changes, even as little as two per cent, can help you to retire years earlier.

R Remember to write down your goals. Don’t just say, “I should be saving more this year.” Work through a monthly budget, figure out what you can comfortably allocate to the ‘future you’ and do it. This applies to debts as well. By having a smart strategy for eliminating the right debts, in the right order, you’ll save a fortune.

T Take action, and systematize your decisions so that you know that you’re on the right track. You’ll thank yourself later.

May 2020 bring all the financial joys and successes that you deserve.

Brandon Parkes is a Senior Consultant with IG Wealth Management. He was also mortgage-free at the age of 32. 416.450.8538 or brandon.parkes@investorsgroup.com

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