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Your Vision of Financial Freedom

What comes to mind when you hear the term “financial freedom”?

Trading in work life for vacation life might sound amazing. Or retiring from a job you like so you can make more time for a hobby you love.

When it comes to defining financial freedom for yourself, there are no wrong answers.

Financial management is a lifelong process that requires hard work and self-control. Done correctly, it can lead to a secure and satisfying future. To get started working toward your vision of success, begin with setting goals.

To start, write a wish list of things you want to accomplish and arrange them in terms of a timeline.

Use the examples below for inspiration, but keep in mind everyone’s current situation is different.

Short-term financial goals are things you want to accomplish within the next three years. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Create a fully-funded emergency fund
  • Replace a vehicle
  • Take a family vacation
  • Complete a home improvement project
  • Purchase a new laptop

Medium-term financial goals are things you want to accomplish within three to 10 years. Are any of these to-dos on your horizon?

  • Purchase a home
  • Buy a vehicle
  • Pay for a wedding
  • Pay for advanced education

Long-term financial goals are things you want to accomplish in 10 or more years. Think way into the future and whether you hope to:

  • Save enough money to stop working
  • Fund your child’s advanced education
  • Start a business
  • Financially support elderly parents

keychain with house key

Planning Factors

Consider these other planning factors as you jump into your visioneering adventure:

  • Time

    Time can be a money multiplier. So get started! The earlier you start saving and investing, the faster you accumulate money for reaching your goals.

  • Needs and wants

    Needs and wants are different. For example, you need to save money for your future, but you might want to use that money for that super cool motorcycle. Spending too much on wants can make it difficult to cover your needs. As hard as it may be, focus on needs first.

  • Risk tolerance

    Risk and reward are typically connected in the investment arena. Investments that offer the potential for higher returns tend to be riskier than those that offer lower returns. At the same time, taking more risk does not guarantee greater returns. Being too conservative or safe with your investments can also threaten your odds of success. Ultimately, you need to take the time to understand investment risk and your tolerance for it.

  • Life events

    Life is constantly changing, especially in the military. It’s important to consider your goals as life evolves. Nothing stays the same for long. You may get married. You will PCS every few years. There are deployments, children, promotions, or periods of unemployment for a spouse to consider. All of these events will have an impact on your finances.

  • Family involvement

    If you are married, it is very important to discuss your financial goals with your spouse. Everyone’s needs and wants vary. Discuss them together. Try the money management exercise below to get started.

Stack of financial documents

What’s your financial philosophy?

Use this worksheet to spark a discussion about financial values and how you align with your partner on personal financial management.

Download Personal Financial Values