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Four Steps to Achieving Your Financial Dreams

February 2006
Four Steps to Achieving Your Financial Dreams

It has been my observation as a financial planner for the past 15 years that all kinds of things can happen in your life to keep you from ever pursuing the things you want and love. I remember when the stock markets were soaring. So many people had become millionaires in just a few years. On the same token, when the markets crashed, so did the wealth of many of these one time millionaires. Instead of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in the market, what if they had cashed out a portion of their portfolio and did an outrageous thing that they had always wanted to do? What if they had bought the car or the home they had always wanted? Or had traveled around the world? Even better, what if they had an opportunity to share their wealth with their families or needy people around the world?

Of course saving is important. You should be saving for your retirement, your childrens' college education and for rainy days, but there also comes a time when you also have to allot a portion of your earnings for the other things you want. We all know of people who are very wealthy but they rarely spend the money for themselves or others. It is a shame because one day they will have to leave their money for their heirs and may have it squandered within a short time. It is said that 80% of all estates are squandered within 3 years. It is also similar to lottery winnings.���If someone is going to spend your money eventually, why not you? Why not do the things you have always wanted to do? Why not give to your children and grandchildren while living to see their joys and see how they spend their money?

Death, divorces, disabilities, lawsuits, health problems, natural disasters, family problems as well as market and business downturns are just some of the examples of things that can rob you of your opportunities to do what you have always wanted. A person can spend their entire life building their fortune and in an instant can lose it.

Do you know of people who never take vacations? Many times it is because their jobs are uncertain or their finances are not good. When they have a job, they don't want to take the vacation because they don't have time. When they don't have a job, they don't want to spend the money. Sometimes you just have to put your vacations on your annual goals and work toward making them happen. People that are on their death beds more often regret the things they haven't done compared to the things they have done. Don't wait for "some day" all your life. Take one step to making your dreams a reality today.

What about people who say that if they ever become rich, they would like to help the poor and the needy? If they can't part with small amounts of money now, what makes them believe that will be able to part with large sums of money when they are rich? If you really want to help the people in need, start today! Start with whatever amount you can afford, even if it is just $10 per month. Once you get going, you will find it easier to increase the amounts and make larger impacts. Keep in mind; you don't necessarily have to donate money. You can also donate your time and energies. There are so many organizations that are looking for enthusiastic individuals to help them.

Four Steps to Achieving Your Financial Dreams

1.���Identify what you want and give it a deadline. I have always said that the hardest thing in life is to know what you want. Once you know what you want, you can work out a plan to get it. Be as specific as possible on what you want. More detail you can give your goal, the better and easier it will be. Be sure to write this down some place where you can see it often. Perhaps on your computer monitor at work or on the refrigerator or mirror at home. When writing your goals, write down why you should have this. What benefits will you get from having it? What benefits will your family or other people get from you achieving this? More reasons you give, more fuel you will add to your desire. On the same subject, write down what will happen if you don't accomplish this. If you don't accomplish your dream, how will you feel 5 years, 10 years, 20 years from now? This will also add fuel to help you get going.

2. Find out how much it is going to cost. When factoring costs, identify not only dollars, but also time.���It might happen that you may have to get a part time job or cut out other expenses to make your dream a reality. But if you know what the cost is going to be, you can design a strategy to help pay for the expenses. Be willing to pay the price. If what you want is important to you, be willing to do what it takes to make it happen. Remember this old saying "If it is to be, it is up to me!" Most of the time when I meet people who aren't living their dreams, I find that they are not willing to do what it takes to live that dream. The difference between successful people and the unsuccessful people is that the successful people are more willing to do whatever it takes to get what they want.

3. Identify potential obstacles. What are some of the things that will keep you from getting your object of desire? How will you address these obstacles when they arise and how will you overcome them? Are there any other friends or resources you can call upon to help you?���If you need more time, can you juggle your schedule to create some more time? Can you reduce some of your expenses or overheads?

4. Implement your plan. All the talking and planning in the world won't help you unless you put your dreams into action. Take the first step to achieving your goal, then the second and third until you have reached your objective. Review your goals daily. Talk about your goal to family and friends who will support you. It will commit you psychologically to achieving it. Don't share your goals with people who will discourage you.

If you can make this an on-going habit, you will find that you will accomplish so many things that once you thought were unobtainable. You will be able to make a huge impact in your life as well as in the lives of others around you. People will seek you out because you will be doing something only 3% of the people in the world do--live their dreams. It is my sincerest hope that you will take at least one dream this year that you have wanted to accomplish and work towards accomplishing it. All the best.

By Rajesh Jyotishi, CEP, CSA

Moneywise is hosted by Rajesh Jyotishi with Shalin Financial Services,

Inc. Investment Advisor Representative of FSC Securities Corp. Member of

NASD, SIPC. For questions, he can be reached at (770) 451-1932, Ext. 101,

or email at RJ@shalinfinancial.com

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