Which Life Goals Should You Be Investing For?
Some goals in life may be easier to reach than others. Saving enough to afford a holiday trip or buy a car is within reach with some short-term planning. But other life goals may require much longer-term plans.
From getting married, starting a family with buying a home, many of the bigger moments in life will require some proper financial planning. This is where investment can help grow your money faster to reach your goals. But before you start, you need to ask yourself one question.
What are you investing for?
Having a clear goal in mind will increase your chances of success. You need to set goals so that you can measure the success of your investments. Without this, you may not know if you are investing enough or taking too long to reach that goal.
Setting financial goals for big life events can also inspire you to make decisions and take steps that get you nearer to that goal.
Major life events that may have a bigger impact on your finances in the long-term include:
Romance aside, marriage has a big impact on your finances. This starts with the marriage ceremony and celebration, which comes with a big price tag that you cannot afford with just your monthly salary. You will most likely need to plan for a few years to be able to afford the wedding expenses.
Marriage also means making financial decisions together. Your income, spending and investment choices are no longer just based on your decisions but your spouse as well. Combining your finances can also bring better financial opportunities as your combined income means you are eligible for bigger investments like buying a home while sharing costs.
Raising a family
A new baby means an instant increase in expenses starting with the cost of delivery and caring for the baby. These expenses will continue to grow throughout your child’s school years, or if you have more than one child.
Saving for your child’s education will need long-term financial planning if you do not want to end up in debt over it. The good thing is you know ahead of time the number of years you have ahead to plan your investment accordingly.
If you have dependents, putting aside money for an emergency fund and protecting your finances is even more important. You will need an investment plan with the right investment portfolio that can grow along with your family’s growing needs.
Saving and investing in this life event is among the most important decisions, as you may live for decades after retirement and you still need to support your own expenses, even without a monthly income. For Malaysians who have EPF savings, studies have seen how the majority of them may not have enough to cover the cost of retirement today.
Therefore, they need to complement their EPF savings with other forms of savings and investing in Private Retirement Schemes can be an option. The World Bank has recommended the 70% income replacement ratio of an individual’s last withdrawn salary to live a comfortable retirement life. So, if your last withdrawn salary is RM10,000 per month, you need RM7,000 a month to live comfortably throughout your retirement years.
Retirement also brings on other expenses like increased health care cost and perhaps, even paying for nursing care and recurring medical expenses if you have chronic health issues. It is important to have an investment plan based on how much you will need for retirement.
It is only sensible to take steps to prepare for your loved ones’ financial security as much as possible while you are still around.
This means having a plan to clear your own debts instead of passing it on. The last thing you want to do is to let your loved ones inherit your debt commitments without any financial plan on how to clear them.
Leaving a legacy to your children in the form of property, car, insurance, or other investments that they can benefit from can also help them become financially independent.
Your legacy can also include supporting a charity or plans on how your money will be used by naming your beneficiaries and on how your assets will be allocated.
Knowing what you are investing, allows you to start making investment decisions with the end goal in mind.
Create a financial game plan
Once you have your investing goals in mind, you can plan how to go about achieving them by choosing the right investment strategy.
Knowing how much time you have before you need the money for each of these life events allow you to put together a game plan to reach those goals.
For example, if you are just starting out in your working life and planning to start investing, you can start by ranking these major life events based on how much time you have before the big moment arrives.
|Raising a family||High||Mid to long-term|
If you have a short time frame, you may want to include higher risk investments with the potential for higher returns. Goals that have medium to long time frame can have a mixture of high to low-risk investments to maximize returns over a long-term investment horizon.
Having a game plan in mind can also help you focus your efforts to address any challenges that get in the way. If you have high interest debts like credit card debt or loans you have taken out for your studies and financing your car, having a game plan will keep you on track to pay them off to secure your future goals.
If you are new to investing, a financial consultant can help you get started with building an investment portfolio that is tailored to your needs. This way, you can get an expert’s advice right from the start on how to prioritize your budget, save more, or review your retirement planning strategy.
Get started on your investment goals with Principal
You can never start investing too early in your life. The sooner you start, the more time you have in the market to take advantage of compounding interest from your investments to grow your money.
Principal has a range of investment solutions that are ideal for those who are new to investing.
- Unit Trust. Suitable for first time investors looking to start small.
- Private Retirement Scheme. Suitable for long term investors looking to hedge against inflation and take advantage of compound earnings.
- EPF i-Invest. Suitable for those looking to diversify their EPF savings into other domestic and international funds without additional sales fees by consultants.
- Shariah-Compliant Investments. Suitable for those who want to maximise investments in accordance with Shariah principles.
If you are planning to start investing for life’s big goals, Principal can help you take the first step. Find out more.