Our goal should be to identify the right goals


Written By Suresh Sadagopan

We all have dreams in life & why not? Our families have various needs & wants and we would like to provide the best we can. But, that’s not all. We have several goals that needs to be achieved in life. Some of them are – A home, second home, holiday home, foreign vacations, children’s education ( including education abroad ), a high end car etc. Some of these goals can be very important – like a home. Some others may be good to have & would probably add zing in one’s life – like the vacation. Vacations are a much needed balm in the fast paced, stress filled world we habit today.

Yet, we have to be careful what we wish for. Why do I say that?

The goals should be those that truly adds meaning to one’s life. Sometimes, that is not the case and that can make life miserable & add to stress.

Take the case of Aney. He has a well paying corporate job and earns around Rs.2.5 Lakhs a month. His wife Supriya is working too & earns around Rs.1.3 Lakhs pm. They have two sons who are seven & nine years old. We would think that the financial portion of life would be a path strewn with rose petals. Unfortunately, it is not.

Aney has bought two homes – one where they are staying & the other purely for investment purposes. He has loans on both homes totaling Rs.2.25 Crores. EMI is about Rs.2.15 Lakhs a month. He has also bought a luxury sedan on a loan, the EMI for which is Rs.37,500 pm. He has the wherewithal to service all these and live decently. Only problem is that there is not too much surplus to invest for the various other important goals he has – like Children’s future education, a holiday home & foreign vacations. The industry where he is working ( telecom ) is in transformation and he is worried about his future.
What will he do if he is laid off?
This is a question that is looming large for him these days. The huge EMIs he has, worries him & makes him rue his decision to go for that second home. That second home is 1.5 years away to possession & can yield about Rs.20-25,000 pm as rent. He now admits that he could well have avoided the luxury sedan & the second home. But one cannot easily bottle the genie, once it is out!

Aney’s case is representative of what is happening today. The problem stems from pursuing goals that do not add meaning to life & infact creates stress. We need to think real hard about the true goals in life.  The goals that is important to someone else may not be important to us at all.  There are no templates for which are or should be one’s goals. It’s a personal call.

The general rule that can be applied is this – does the goal help the family in some vital way, does it bring fulfillment, happiness to the members, does the goal being pursued offer the freedom we all crave for, do they help us achieve our potential etc. In sum, the goals we choose should be those that empower & liberate us and truly advance our interests.

Goal setting needs to be taken pretty seriously. Goals chosen without much thought detracts us from what we truly want to achieve in life. One needs to ruminate and carefully choose the goals. Prioritization of goals is equally important.  There are going to be some high priority goals, the truly important ones – the big rocks. There would be others which are low to medium priority.  We need to get these right. Family members’ important priorities should be accommodated –  it can be made to work only then. Finally all members should be aligned with what the goals are & what is their order of importance.

Only when we create a financial plan with properly identified goals, it can become the blueprint to create a robust future filled with contentment, achievement, happiness, vitality & a sense of liberation. So dream, by all means. But sort out the dreams & bring in those that makes sense to you. Choose wisely!


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