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What are Guidepost Goals in Financial Planning?

When it comes to financial planning, it can be challenging to set goals when there is no clear end in sight. After all, we can't predict when our health will fail, when our family circumstances will change, or when we will reach "The End." So how can we set goals that will help us navigate these uncertain times? 

One solution is to focus on setting guidepost goals instead of termination goals. A guidepost goal is a target that helps us orient ourselves and stay on track, even when we can't see the end of the road. It's a way of setting a general direction for our financial planning, rather than a specific endpoint. 

Here are a few tips for setting guidepost goals: 

Focus on the things you can control: While we can't control everything in our lives, there are still many things we can control when it comes to financial planning. For example, we can control how much we save and invest, how much we spend, and how we allocate our resources. By focusing on these things, we can set goals that are meaningful and achievable, even if we can't predict the future. 

Be flexible: Guidepost goals should be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. If you set a goal that is too rigid, it may not be realistic or sustainable in the long run. Instead, try to set goals that are specific enough to be meaningful, but also flexible enough to allow for adjustments as your circumstances change. 

Make them SMART: SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. While guidepost goals may not have a clear end date, you can still make them SMART by focusing on specific actions, measuring your progress, and setting achievable targets. 

Seek advice: If you're not sure where to start with financial planning, consider seeking the advice of a financial planner or professional. They can help you assess your current situation and set goals that are tailored to your specific needs and circumstances. 

Overall, the key to setting guidepost goals is to focus on the things you can control, be flexible and adaptable, and seek advice when you need it. By setting goals that help you navigate uncertain times, you can find a sense of direction and purpose, even when there is no clear end in sight.

The commentary on this website reflects the personal opinions, viewpoints and analyses of the Ascend Investment Partners employees providing such comments, and should not be regarded as a description of advisory services provided by Kesler, Norman & Wride, LLC dba Ascend Investment Partners or performance returns of any Ascend Investment Partners Investments client. The views reflected in the commentary are subject to change at any time without notice. Nothing on this website constitutes investment advice, performance data or any recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. Any mention of a particular security and related performance data is not a recommendation to buy or sell that security. Ascend Investment Partners manages its clients’ accounts using a variety of investment techniques and strategies, which are not necessarily discussed in the commentary. Investments in securities involve the risk of loss. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. 

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