Some of us are very clear on what they want in life. While others of us can be a little more carefree in nature and have only sort of an idea of where they are heading. Then there are those who the thought of planning is not even on their radar.

No matter where you are at, my money challenge for you this month is to take a moment to think about what ‘wealth’ or ‘financial independence’ means to you and create your definition.

For me being wealthy means: ________________________________________________

For me Financial Independence means: _________________________________________

Wealth, financial independence and there meaning can be a very personal point of view and perception. What does wealth really mean to you?

Do you believe you are wealthy because you no longer worry about money because you are able to pay your bills on time? Or is it more about having enough money to choose whether or not you work? Or would you only consider being wealthy if you live in a very expensive house and travel regularly? Do you not believe in the concept of wealth at all or is wealth to you more about lifestyle and less about money?

We can sometimes take elements of our wealthy lifestyles for granted. I feel wealthy because I have love, happiness, shelter, safety, food and education in my life as well as an income and ability to help and empower others.

Setting your goals and working out what it means for you and your partner is a major part of the financial planning process. Setting SMART or SMART-ER goals can be a challenge in itself as is taking the action to make them happen.

Specific – You know exactly what the goal is with as many details as possible.
Measurable – You are able to measure how far you have progressed towards the final goal.
Achievable – The goal takes account of your particular situation at the time.
Realistic – The goal reflects your skills, resources and ability to achieve a specific outcome.
Timeframe – There is a definite time frame against which progress towards the goal can be tracked.
Extra Realistic – The what, where, when and how of your goal in a high level of detail so much so you can almost touch it!

A financial planner can assist with helping you to document your plans and get you on track to achieving your financial goals as an individual or a couple. We can also offer a reality check to see if the numbers stack up and your goals are achievable in the timeframe that you are planning.

A result of this of this could be getting investment advice which can open up a whole new world of jargon and new experiences for you such as buying an investment product.

A good adviser will take you on this journey with them rather then talking at you about the products and strategies they will implement for you. My advice is that this process should be a partnership and you should be educated and informed throughout it all which will add another depth of wealth to your life!

The information provided on this article is of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information you should consider its appropriateness having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.