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There are plenty of moving pieces to a person’s financial picture, which makes saving for future goals an ever-evolving task. Remember that consistent saving is key to making any financial dream a reality. Earmarking funds for specific savings buckets is a great way to stay motivated.

Two goals fall into the must-save-for-first category: retirement and emergencies. Before you put money into other savings buckets, make these two a priority.

Funding retirement: Most Americans retire in their mid-60s. Many seniors are pushed out of the labor force well before they can comfortably retire. Ageism, lack of technological skills, health issues, and extended family needs are contributing factors to quitting earlier than expected.

People often think they will make retirement work by cutting down on their spending. Frequently the opposite occurs instead. Healthcare costs continue to increase precipitously nationwide. Cost of living is on the upswing as well. As retirees age, cash needs may continue to climb.

It is impossible to know exactly how much money you will need in retirement. Sock away as much as you can from the beginning of your career and increase the pace as your income grows.

Funding emergencies: Unexpected things happen in life all the time. Planning for the unexpected will keep emergencies from sending your finances into a tailspin. Your unique situation dictates how much money you should set aside. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Do you have hefty bills to cover each month, or do you live relatively frugally?
  • Are you self-employed, or are you an employee with the potential for job loss?
  • Do you have a single earner or dual earner household?

To find out what you may need in case of an emergency, have a financial plan. Our financial planning process takes these types of variables into account and shows you the big picture, now and in the future.

The rest of your savings buckets are up to you. Here is where the dreaming comes in. Once you are steadily putting away for retirement and emergencies, your goals are dictated by what matters most to you. Every single person has a finite amount of money at their disposal. What percentage of your money goes toward each savings bucket is your choice. Understand that if you pile a large portion into one bucket, other goals may take longer to accomplish. 

Goal-oriented saving gives you greater opportunity to be intentional with your money. If you would like help charting your path, start your financial plan here.