Visualizing the Financial Future

Posted by in Articles, personal finance | 13 comments

Visualizing the Financial Future

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?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Daisy @ Add Vodka

    I’m in my 20s. I am pretty goal and future oriented so I can definitely envision my future and I’m hoping to save up for a good one!

  2. Kellen

    I had a hard time prioritizing all of my goals recently – I wanted to buy a house, and pay off my student loan…. I ended up buying the house first, because I just couldn’t stand my living situation, and I couldn’t stand the idea of missing out on the great interest rates available now! But switching between goals really made things hard, because paying off student loan faster meant less savings for downpayment and the larger emergency fund that I need now that I have a mortgage. I don’t regret it, because I kept enough in reserve, but if I hadn’t wanted the house, my student loan could have been $0 a year ago!

  3. krantcents

    Some may say I am at the end of life, although I do not feel like it! In my expereince, you have to be much more specific in order to achieve your goals. How much do you want to have in your retirement accounts and what are you doing today to get there? Good luck.

  4. Well Heeled Blog

    I’m working on making the rest of my 20s and 30s awesome decades before I tackle the 40s. :) It’s hard to know where life will lead you… especially when retirement / financial independence seem so far off to me.

  5. Joe Morgan

    I think to really visualize the future, it helps to have a lengthy past. I too had zero ability to visualize the future or have a 10 year plan in my 20’s. I simply had no perspective and hadn’t been living on my own long enough to know much of anything. Now as I approach the 4-0, I find that such time periods are much easier to visualize. I can look back on my 20’s and 30’s and apply that perspective to the future.

  6. 101 Centavos

    Going into my 50’s, I can see how 60 is going to look like. For one thing, we’re going to be empty nesters.

  7. Bret @ Hope to Prosper

    Setting and visualizing goals is so critical to success and I am happy I got started a long time ago. I have achieved most of those goals including a house, college degree, management position, etc. If I hadn’t written them down and looked at them often, I would be way behind where I am today.

    I read a really good book you may be interested in called: The Type Z Guide to Success. It makes you create and write down an Ideal Life. I did this and realized there were a lot of things beyond my goals that I needed to be happy. I also recently created a Dream Budget, because I realized I am too practical and realistic with my goals. I needed to start thinking bigger.

    • Little House

      @Bret – Thanks for sharing that book. I’ll have to look into it. I think I now have a good grasp on my future goals, but I could always use some motivation and tips and tricks! As for thinking bigger, that’s awesome!

  8. Kazsandra

    Our future is definitely very important.. I hope this post you have shared us can help every person who wants to have a brighter future..


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