I had an epiphany yesterday: to truly save what you need for the future, you need to visualize it clearly and realistically. Now maybe this had something to do with my 40th birthday, or maybe it had something to do with the weather, or perhaps a Forbes article I was reading; either way, all of a sudden had this clear vision of what I want my life to be like in 10 years from now and a rough sketch of how I was going to get there.

Ten years from now I want a substantial nest egg in the form of a 403(b), pension fund, IRA,  mutual funds, stocks and a savings account. I want the flexibility to have plenty of choices, basically. I’m working on a few of these nest eggs; mutual funds, pension fund, and a savings account. But this is the year I have to ramp it up!

The clarity of what I want my future to look like starts with some small changes over the next 5 years with these goals materializing in 10 years:

  • Increase my savings each month.
    • I’ve been good about meeting my saving goal this year, but it’s just not enough. I need to work harder!
  • Increase my income.
    • I have a plan I’m working on that includes passive income that should help fund my future.
  • Cut back on a few frivolous expenses.
    • Alright, I really love Starbucks, but I’m awaiting my Bialetti espresso maker and that should reign in some extra cash.
  • Be realistic.
    • So I won’t be flying in my own jet anytime soon or zipping down the canyon roads in a Ferrari, and that’s okay. Realistically, I want a modest life, nothing too fancy, just a little extra cash to buy a Dutch bicycle, or visit family once a year, or take a summer vacation, or even splurge on a purchase without breaking the bank (I can pretty much do this now, I just want to continue doing this.)
  • Oh, yes. And I want a house!
    • This is an ongoing goal that I will reach within 5 years.

At 20, I couldn’t visualize the future much further than one semester of school. At 30, my future was very blurry – a hodge-podge of fame, fortune, and some other stuff that I couldn’t quite pin-point.

Yet, at 40 it’s all coming into focus. This is going to be an awesome decade.

 What decade are you currently in?