5 great financial goals for 2022
Another year almost over and it’s probably one that none of us will forget in a hurry. Covid caused us all to pause and reflect a little about life – our health, our relationships, our careers and how we work, and how we spend our free time.
Many people also started to re-evaluate the importance and balance needed between time and money. Do you want to keep earning as much as possible, or do you want to have more time to do the things you love doing? Important choices!
To make these choices, we think you need to have your personal finances in really good shape and to help you achieve this, we’ve set out a few goals that we believe you should look to achieve in 2022.
- Keep some financial breathing space
The last two years have taught us that external factors can completely upend our lives and finances without warning. We always encourage clients to keep an emergency fund that is immediately accessible in the event of something happening beyond your control – this could be an illness, sudden loss of job etc.
We have seen too often with new clients a situation where they have significant investment portfolios, but without any real liquidity. Every euro of their money is tied up in properties and other long-term investments. Some of these people were badly impacted in the early days of the pandemic. Their businesses were under pressure, their earnings fell and they had no access to extra cash. Even though they were wealthy, they were still under significant short-term pressure. Unfortunately a few “fire sales” had to happen… An avoidable situation by keeping an accessible rainy day fund.
- Pay yourself first
Saving money for the future and planning your retirement are among your most important financial activities. Treat them like this. We see situations of people who save whatever is left over at the end of the month, or their retirement contribution is based on surplus resources at a single point in time. This approach runs the risk of failing, as there is no lid put on spending.
Instead we advocate that you identify in advance how much you want to save each month, and take this money out of your current account immediately after payday. You are now more likely to curtail unnecessary spending as you see your account balance reduce over the month. Likewise your pension contribution should be a planned amount, as opposed to “what’s left over”. Yes, from time to time you will need to dip into your savings – but at least now they are there to allow you to do so!
- Expand your earnings
Another learning of the covid era was the amazing ability of many businesses to quickly pivot and offer new services, to avoid going out of business. Some quickly moved into the PPE space, restaurants started offering takeaway services, bricks & mortar businesses built online offerings at breakneck speeds.
In the same way, we saw individuals develop new skills to replace or expand their earnings. Some developed second careers as lecturers, coaches, authors and in many other areas. We all have multiple skills. The trick is identifying our skills and passions and then leveraging them so that work is not really work, and that we are expanding our earning capability at the same time.
- Plan to retire early
We’re not saying necessarily that you should retire early, instead we’re advocating that you plan to do so. Pay a lot of attention to your retirement planning, if possible don’t plan that you’ll be ok if you work until you’re 65/66/67/68. Instead plan so that you can retire at 55 or 60 or whatever age makes sense for you.
The reason is simply to give you more choices. Of course, it doesn’t mean you have to retire early; you can work into your later years as long as you want to. But now you’ll be working on your terms, without financial pressure.
- Avoid unnecessary debt
People generally are not too concerned about debt and debt repayment at the moment, mainly because the economy is strong and interest rates are low. But neither of these factors are guaranteed, and indeed we can already hear the rumblings of potential interest rate rises in the not too distant future.
Debt is the drag on all your finances and once these are cleared, everything you earn is pretty much for you – it makes sense to actively look to pay off your debts. If you have multiple debts, there are different strategies to pay them down, so feel free to talk to us and we’ll give you a steer on how best to do this.
We believe that each of these goals are achievable and hope that there are some in here that you can implement immediately. We would love to help you develop your thinking and your plans around them, so please feel free to give us a call to discuss them further.