Smart.Happy.Money 16: What are your lifestyle goals?

Hello, do you remember me? It has been a while since I have blogged. My bad, I should be more on top of this, however, sometimes work gets very busy and I have also been on a holiday!

My family and I have spent the past 5 weeks in Europe enjoying their once in a lifetime heatwave. And let me tell you it was hot, sunny and dry.

This time away from the office had me thinking about the important things in life.

So often we get caught up looking ahead. Planning and projecting retirement and beyond is where our focus usually lies. There is nothing wrong with this, approaching retirement or living in retirement can be some of the most financially complicated years you will ever face. Juggling super, pensions, cost of living etc can be hard and that is why we are here.

But what about the rest of your life?

Are we really meant to be born, go to school, get a job, retire and die?

Should all of our focus be on the ‘final’ years? Or should we take a more well-rounded approach to our lives and our finances. I for one do not want to spend 40-50 years slaving away at work to enjoy a few good years in retirement.

That is where the idea of lifestyle design comes in. What kind of a lifestyle do you want? Let’s plan around that.

Begin by deciding what is important to you. What are your lifestyle goals?

They may be things like

  • I want to be available for my children’s school events

  • I want to travel overseas each year

  • I want to allow 1 week of my time each year for charity work

  • I want 1 day a week to work on my passion (whatever that is)

  • I want a weekend away with my partner every 2 months

These are the things that you really want to base your life around. Let’s take me as an example. Many years ago, now my wife and I decided that we would start our own business and be in control of our own time. This was important to us. It has been important to us that I am available to attend concerts, presentations etc at my kids school which are almost always during business hours.

We also value travel for ourselves and our kids. We believe that taking our children to explore different places and cultures will help them grow into well rounded adults with a healthy global attitude. So, we make it a priority to travel every year or two to a place where we can be immersed in a foreign culture, learn about them, and sometimes become involved in charity work amongst them.

How do we achieve this? Well, we know what our lifestyle goals are. We also know what they are not. We have no desire to consistently upgrade our home. We are still living in the modest home we purchased 11 years ago. Those who know me will know that I am not a ‘car guy’ so we don’t spend much on vehicles. We are happy with our old Tarago!

House and car goals may form part of your lifestyle goals and that is fine, there is no right or wrong answer.

Everybody will have a different version of lifestyle goals, but as is the case with all types of goals, without definition they are never achieved.

Defining your goals and planning around them is what is most important.

The next step is planning, how are you going to achieve this? Is your goal based on money? Is it an action? Do you need to set up a savings plan or document steps that will help you reach your lifestyle goal? Do you need someone to help you along the way? Clarifying the steps that you need to take to achieve your goal takes it from a ‘someday’ to a ‘today’. It may also show you that what you want is within your reach. Your great big grand goal may seem impossible, but broken down into steps you can achieve, it will look a lot more achievable.

Next, you have to pull the trigger. Talking about the big trip or change of job or setting up a business will only get you so far. There comes a time when, with planning and care, you put the plan into action.

This could be making the purchase, starting the investment, putting a deposit down etc.

Taking real action towards your goal will boost you along and motivate you to follow through.

Is it simple? No, not always. And sometimes it will help to have someone in your corner. That’s where we can help. BGN Financial Management is happy to release a new service to you. Smart.Happy.Money financial coaching has been designed to allow us to have a hands on approach to assist you to set and reach your lifestyle goals. You may need help defining your goals, planning for them and pulling the trigger. We can help you through each step as well as being a sounding board for you to bounce ideas off. We are in your corner.

More information about this can be found at

Your goals are never too big or too small if they are right for you. By following the process of Defining, planning and pulling the trigger you can achieve your lifestyle goals.

As always, feel free to get in touch with your thoughts and comments.

Have a great day.


Ben Graham-Nellor is an advisor, coach, blogger and speaker who has worked in the financial services industry for over 15 years.

BGN Financial Management Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative 468796 of Professional Investment Services Pty Ltd AFSL 234951 ABN 11 074 608 558

The information in this communication has been prepared on a general advice basis only. The advice has been prepared without taking account of your specific objectives, financial situation or needs. Accordingly, you should, before acting on the advice, consider the appropriateness of the advice having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. In cases where the advice relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular financial product, you should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement (or other relevant information statement) and consider such document before you make any decision about whether or not to acquire the product. For these reasons, it is imperative that you seek advice from your financial adviser before making any investment decisions.

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