Q & A: Setting Financial Goals for 2018
Posted December 27, 2017
Fiscal Health can be just as important as physical health. Our friend, Regina Beatty CFP®, CBEC®, CRPC®, a private wealth strategist with Mosaic Wealth Consulting, shares her thoughts as we begin 2018.
More than three quarters of Americans say they are likely to set financial goals in 2018
A Lincoln Financial Group study shows a vast majority who set a financial goal in 2017 feel better about their finances and suggests that simply setting a goal for 2018 can be the first step to increasing financial confidence
As 2017 comes to an end, a study by Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) shows that 77 percent of Americans are very likely or somewhat likely to set financial goals in 2018 — more than double the 34 percent who set specific financial goals in 2017. Additionally, 83 percent of Americans who set a specific financial goal in 2017 feel better about their finances now than they did at the beginning of the year.
According to the Lincoln study, Financial Focus: Goals and Reflections of Today’s Consumer, simply making a New Year’s resolution about finances may lead to increased confidence in a consumer’s financial situation even if they don’t reach their goal. Sixty-nine percent of those who set a goal but did not accomplish it say that they feel better about their finances compared to 64 percent of those with no financial goal.
“Every journey begins with a first step and when it comes to our finances the first step is setting a goal,” said Regina Beatty CFP®, CBEC®, CRPC®, a private wealth strategist with Mosaic Wealth Consulting and a registered representative with Lincoln Financial Advisors. “Regardless of your level of wealth, just making a financial resolution at the beginning of the year can inspire confidence and increase awareness of budgeting, saving and planning for the future.”
Financial resolutions can be as simple as setting a goal for an amount to save in 2018, making a monthly budget, creating or adding to an emergency savings fund, increasing contributions to retirement plans and reviewing investment performance and insurance needs. To be successful, Beatty recommends talking with a financial advisor, who can help create a financial roadmap by setting realistic goals and help keep savers on track over the course of the year. As they’re making resolutions, individuals can also utilize online calculators and planning tools like those offered on Lincoln’s website.
Lincoln’s study also found that 65 percent of Americans are likely to make a New Year’s resolution of some type in 2018, up from the 54 percent who made one in 2017. The most common categories of resolutions are fitness and weight loss, followed by happiness-focused resolutions and then finances and career improvement.
As age increases, the likelihood of making a resolution decreases — 84 percent of Millennials plan to make a New Year’s resolution in the coming year compared to 71 percent of Gen Xers, 51 percent of Baby Boomers and 43 percent of Goldens.
Americans are also feeling better about their finances than they did at the beginning of the year and even more expect their finances to improve in 2018 according to the study. Overall 74 percent of Americans feel better about their finances now compared to the beginning of 2017 and 84 percent expect their finances will improve in 2018.
“These are encouraging findings,” said Beatty. “While there is no bad time to make and follow a financial plan, there is no better time than when you are young and feeling confident about your financial situation.”