The other day after work I caught up with a friend of mine over coffee. The conversation turned to my blog – although I write anonymously, a number of people “in real life” are aware that I do have a personal finance blog. In an effort to show her that it wasn’t just geeky spreadsheet stuff I mentioned the carnival of financial goals.
That sparked her interest. She’s quite a bit older than me but like me she’s single and child-free. Three or four years ago she cashed in all her investments and put down a large deposit on a cottage in a small village. Apparently she’s been working hard all this time to pay off her mortgage early, and will be able to do so by the summer. But after that, she said she didn’t really have any financial goals.
Now, in my book, paying off your mortgage early is quite a big financial goal. I was a little concerned that she might have done this at the expense of her retirement investments, but no, it transpired that she has a final salary pension, plus an additional private pension, she’ll probably be pretty well off when she stops working. I was informed that retirement savings should be my financial goal – such a sensible person .
In the end, she decided that her next immediate financial goal was to set aside money to spend on herself. To landscape her back garden, travel overseas, take classes,… In short, to experience life and all that it has to offer.
It just goes to show that if you get the basics sorted out, your financial goals can be all about spending money on the things that will make you happy.
- overpaying the mortgage or investing for retirement part 1
- do you think about retirement?
- planning for retirement: pensions vs buy to let part 2