What do boa constrictors have to do with your retirement savings?
More than you would think!
Experts say that to pursue long-term goals, you must be 50% sure you can achieve your projects. If you're 100% sure of yourself, you won't try because you have nothing to prove. Alternately, if you're 0% sure of success, you won't even bother.
My granddaughter recently showed me the power of hope in going after life goals or financial goals.
"What do you wish for?" I asked her.
"Well, I wish for a snake, but my parents said I can’t have one, so there’s no point in having the wish," she replied.
She wouldn't even imagine a future with a snake because she saw her goal as having zero possibility of happening. I couldn't overrule her parents, but I could dig deeper.
The more we talked about reading books, going to the Zoo, and watching YouTube videos to expand her knowledge and pursue her passion, even without actually owning a snake, the happier she became about her wish.
If you approach your financial goals with this kind of creativity and openness, you will discover that instead of waiting to enjoy your long-term goals, there are likely various ways you may start enjoying life now.
A Financial Vision Board and Retirement Planning
Research shows that 43% of Americans just guess at the amount they'll need to live a life of financial freedom after they leave the workforce. So, you're not alone if having a conversation about fixed-income securities boggles your mind!
However, this begs the question - If you don't have specific financial goals, how can you know exactly how much to save during your working years?
These days, retirement is a time to live the life you've always wanted--to travel, spend time with family, or take up a new hobby.
That means you need to use your imagination right now to envision the life you want later. Then use that vision to guide your financial goal.
Finally, create financial vision boards to clarify your dreams and visually represent your wishes. Once you can see your aspirations on a vision board, saving and planning toward those goals becomes much easier.
A Step-by-Step Process to Creating Your Financial Freedom Vision Board
Creating a financial vision board is a lot of fun! Read this related article for more fun an easy savings hacks. The process shows you the possibilities for now and in your future. A financial vision board also provides daily inspiration to help you stay constant in your retirement investing and gives you a reason to better manage your spending habits.
Step #1 Brainstorm Your Financial Vision Board
There are no bad ideas in a brainstorming session! In this step, you are casting your vision of post-retirement life goals. Don't worry about how you will pay for these goals; don't suppress your desires because they seem crazy. During this vision board brainstorming session, you assume anything is possible!
Depending on how you work best, you can brainstorm using lists or pictures. I like to make lists, but others will start with visuals from magazines or online sources.
Think about the ways you might like to spend your time:
- Volunteer opportunities
- Learning and teaching opportunities
- Owning a boat or a private jet or a beach house in Costa Rica
Again, don't judge yourself! Write those financial goals down. Spend less time on the negative and more time on the possibilities.
Gather Supplies for your Financial Vision Board
If you're creating a physical money vision board, gather supplies such as poster board, tape or glue sticks, and photos representing the life you plan to create. You can find these in old magazines and print from digital sources.
You can use collage templates from Canva or other graphic design tools when creating a digital vision board. If you find software challenging, sticking your photos into a Google slide presentation will keep you on track. One final possibility is using Pinterest to make an online vision board.
Many people who make vision boards recommend that you create a hard copy. The tactile experience of arranging physical pictures can inspire you more than digital files. You can hang your financial vision board in your bedroom or office to keep you focused on why you're striving to make more money.
I like having both. A hard copy of your vision board is fun, but you can keep your digital vision board on your phone or computer to pull up when you're on the go.
Make Your Financial Vision Board
There are 3 ways you can structure your money vision board:
1) Arrange it in a way that is aesthetically pleasing with an eye for colors, design, and style.
2) Group your vision board into categories such as travel, hobbies, or learning.
3) Divide your vision board into short-term (before retirement) and long-term goals. This requires a little more thought process but gives your vision board more structure.
The Rogin/Kueng Money Vision Board
Designed by Ellen Rogin and Lisa Kueng, this vision board method relies on using old magazines and other printed materials to achieve a visual grid reflecting your financial vision. You're encouraged to begin with images vs. a writing/brainstorming experience.
Once you've chosen around 20 images, you'll start to imagine yourself in each photo. You will use the photos to determine exactly what you want and why, from sights to smells to the feelings you get as you imagine yourself in the experience each image represents. Now you'll write down how the images inspire a life goal while saying the goal out loud. This begins to lock your goals into your body and mind.
Finally, you'll arrange your visuals into a grid encompassing long-term and short-term financial goals. The big difference between this style of vision board and others is that the Rogin/Kueng method actually gives you a financial vision directly tied to a financial goal. Your poster board becomes a grid that provides you with a time horizon to accomplish large and small goals.
It's advised you place images of your short-term goals (within the next five years) on the left and long-term goals on the right of the vision board. Then, you'll place the less expensive items or experiences toward the bottom of your vision board and the higher-cost purchases toward the top.
When you're finished, you'll have explored your hopes and dreams thoroughly while creating a beautiful, useful tool that captures your innermost financial vision and hopes.
Putting Your Financial Vision Board to Use
Vision boards are an excellent tool to support your long-term planning. Once you've created your financial vision board, it's time to use it.
Meet with a financial advisor to discuss your risk tolerance, life expectancy, and the action steps you need to take now and in the future to make your financial vision board become a reality. Even if you've met with an advisor in the past to discuss investing and savings, the vision board exercise will probably clarify some of your financial goals and may have completely changed others.
Your advisor will likely lead you through a discussion about how to invest now so that your basic living costs (like housing, medical expenses, and food) are covered. Then, it becomes more exciting as you discuss your financial goals extending beyond the basics!
The goal is to develop a precise financial roadmap to help you save the money you need to create a retirement filled with value and meaning.
A Money Vision Board Could Change your Life
A financial vision board provides the possibility and structure to achieve your financial goals. If you're at the point where you realize that your savings won't create the retirement you'll love, don't be like my grandaughter and immediately deny your hopes and dreams.
Instead, dig deep into what inspires you and why. Create a money vision board and tailor your financial goals toward financial wellness and personal happiness. Then, in alignment, save money toward making your financial freedom vision board come to life!