I’ve only recently begun to plan 15+ years out for my future. Until now, it was hard for me to imagine where I’d be (realistically!) in 5, 10, or 20 years. When I was in my 20’s, it was so easy to say, “Oh, I’m going to live in a big house and make lots of money….someday.” I had no idea how I was going to achieve those pie-in-the-sky dreams, but it was a nice day dream to have while working two crummy jobs.
Now that I have a solid plan in place, it’s much easier to see where I’m going and how I’m going to get there. What changed? Two things – I have a stable income and career and I’ve learned how to set attainable goals.
My stable income and career have been a huge boost to me meeting this year’s goals. Before this year, our income would fluctuate from month-to-month making is near impossible to budget, especially if an unexpected expense popped up. Too bad I didn’t shoot for this route 10+ years ago! I’d be way ahead.
I’ve also been able to set goals that I’m actually meeting. Changing my strategy to a quarterly time frame, I review my goals every three months. I’m setting more realistic goals, or goals I know I can meet. The shorter time frame and realistic amounts make meeting my goals easier.
Since I finally comprehend the ability to plan for the future, I’m looking at 13 years away. An odd number, I know, but it’s exactly the earliest I can retire with a pension in place (I love what I do, but may not feel this way in 13 years). Our plan is multi-level and requires retiring in a less expensive city other than Los Angeles, but it’s definitely doable.
Step 1 – Continue making quarterly financial goals that allow us to save for a slush fund, house fund and retirement.
Step 2 – Buy a house within 18-24 months. (Hopefully prices will dip a bit!)
Step 3 – Continue earning side income that is long-lasting and possibly passive that will follow us into retirement.
Step 4 – Max out income level within 18 months and continue on a path that will allow for a possible 5% increase in a few years.
Step 5 – Sell said house in 10 – 12 years with the idea of moving to a less expensive state (purchasing a house in cash so we won’t have a mortgage payment by our late 50’s)
I’m being fairly realistic with my 13-year plan, even the house plan is a solid one since housing in Los Angeles is notorious for increasing by 200% within a 10-year time frame. Even if our house only increased by a small percentage, we’d still be able to have enough in profit (after the mortgage is paid in full) to possibly fund a house in another state for cash.
I also have a few alternate plans in the back of my head in case this version doesn’t work out exactly as planned (which is very likely!)
Have you planned 10, 15, or 20+ years into the future? What might yours look like?