Financial Goals Assessment

Financial Goals Assessment

Updated on Mar 02 2018


Whether you want to attend luncheons with friends, play golf, travel to exotic places or spend time with grandchildren (maybe all of the above!) in your retirement, it’s important you figure out your long-term financial goals. A financial assessment can help you get on track with your retirement goals.

What is a financial assessment?

A financial assessment is a set of questions to help you determine whether you’re financially on track to reach your future monetary goals. The assessment can be done with a financial planner or in the form of an online questionnaire. The purpose of the assessment is to understand where you stand today, and where you want to be in the future, so that you can get accurate recommendations for how best to achieve your retirement goals.

A good financial assessment will most likely ask questions about:

  • Your current sources of income, bills, and expenses
  • Basic financial health, including your current retirement savings, emergency savings, and debt
  • Financial obligations, such as caring for children or elderly parents
  • Your short and long-term goals, such as saving for college education, buying a car, downsizing a family house, or saving for a desired retirement community
  • Your current credit card payments, interest rates and credit situation
  • Your mortgage or rent details

An in-depth or more personal financial assessment might also ask questions about:

  • Retirement options available to you through your employer
  • The types of accounts you currently have, rates, and current savings situation
  • Your approach to money, and areas you want to work on
  • Your ideal balance between saving and lifestyle spending

A financial assessment helps you get organized so you can proactively plan your future. Take our financial assessment below to help you get your retirement planning on track.

List Your Financial Goals

Creating a chart of your financial goals and assigning a timeline to reach them will inform you of your investment strategy. Follow these steps to set your financial goals on your own or with an expert financial planner.

Financial Goals Assessment

1. Which personal objectives are the most important to you when it comes to your envisioned retirement?

List your main retirement goals below, assign a timeframe and calculate the cost of each goal.

Goal #1 – Timeframe

  • Short-term: 0 to 3 years
  • Medium-term: 3 to 10 years
  • Long-term: 10+ years

Calculate the cost of each goal

  • Use today’s costs for short-term goals
  • Use a retirement calculator for medium- and long-term goals

Goal #2 – Timeframe

  • Short-term: 0 to 3 years
  • Medium-term: 3 to 10 years
  • Long-term: 10+ years

Calculate the cost of each goal

  • Use today’s costs for short-term goals
  • Use a retirement calculator for medium- and long-term goals

Goal #3 – Timeframe

  • Short-term: 0 to 3 years
  • Medium-term: 3 to 10 years
  • Long-term: 10+ years

Calculate the cost of each goal

  • Use today’s costs for short-term goals
  • Use a retirement calculator for medium- and long-term goals

2. Today, what percentage of the family income do you feel should go towards savings? Why?

3. What do you think is a reasonable interest rate when investing?

4. At what age do you wish to retire?

5. What plans do you have for retirement?

6. Is saving for retirement important to you?

7. Are you familiar with your government retirement benefits?

8. If you could no longer work due to a disability, would you have sufficient reserves to keep you going? For how long?

These questions will give you a baseline for your retirement goal setting.

Retirement and Financial Goals to Consider

Here are some common goals for people who are 50+:

  1. Maintain or improve lifestyle

A common human tendency, especially for the baby boomer generation, is to strive to improve your lifestyle. You work hard your entire life, so it only makes sense to want to enjoy life as you get older and approach retirement. In order to do this, you’ll need to maintain or grow your investment portfolio as well as increase income to offset inflation.

  1. Prevent running out of money

This is a top goal for many. Having to continue to work past normal retirement age, rely on children for help or go back to work is a main source of anxiety for people age fifty and above. Smart investments, which often require more than low-volatility investments, such as Treasury bonds, can help provide you with enough cash flow during your retirement years.

  1. Increase wealth

The main goal for this fortunate group of individuals is to grow their assets and wealth over the long term, often for their retirement enjoyment and/or legacy (whether that’s for their children, grandchildren or a charity). If you fit into this category, taking a growth-oriented approach to investments is common.

Retirement Goal Setting: What’s Next in Financial Planning?

Once you have your goals figured out, you’ll need to estimate your retirement spending behavior and then figure out your net worth. Get a financial planning overview to get more in-depth information on spending and calculating your net worth to get big-picture insight into your retirement wants and needs.


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