What's holding you back? [Certain Times]

On April 6, I hit a goal I set five years ago: to hire a full-time employee. Kyle Hoelzle joined the firm as a Service Coordinator and Portfolio Technician on April 6th, and he’s been doing a great job ever since.

I hired him because he’s honest, detail-oriented and loves to help people.

In fact, he passed two rigorous background checks that allowed him to work first as a Forensics Analyst for the local police department (think “CSI”) and more recently as a Branch Representative for one of the state’s largest credit unions (think “non-profit bank”).

Now that I see how much better life is with excellent help, I’ve stopped to wonder, “Why did it take me SO long to get here?”

I think the goal—or the way I stated the goal—was holding me back.

At first, the goal was to “get some help.”

Later, the goal became, “To get some help with paperwork and my calendar.”

Then with the help of a business coach, the goal became clearer, stretching onto five written pages, in the form of a job description, hiring parameters, career ladder outline and a checklist of 20 items I wanted in this hire.

Since I’m a financial planner, you might think I would be great at setting goals and making them happen. And I am great at that… but for physician families.

So when I tried to set a goal for myself, I struggled, and I figure you might be struggling to set your own goals too.

Today, I want to share a snippet of what I am seeing with the physicians we serve.

When a physician calls for the first time, the first goal is buy a house, then send kids to college, and later to retire some day.

That’s cool. But these aren’t truly “goals” by definition. They’re more like dreams.

A goal is a dream that you have set down in writing… one that is specific, measurable, realistic and time-oriented (often called a SMaRT goal).

Recently I dealt with a younger physician whose dream is to work until age 58, then travel the world, spending time with family back in India, and being able to visit his daughters and some-day grandchildren, wherever they happened to be.

So we discussed his dreams at length and, after a few revisions, we came down to the following goal:

“To build and maintain a fund that will allow you to cover your basic cost of living (estimated at $7,000 per month plus the cost of healthcare plus the cost of travel (estimated at $2,500 per month through your age 78) beginning on May 15, 2032 (Abbishek’s 58th birthday), with the option for Abbishek to “slow down” 4 years before retiring completely, which means you will neither contribute to nor withdraw from your Retirement Fund during your transition into retirement.”

And though it’s not specifically stated here, the goal might also have said, “… and to never worry about running out of money!” which is what I call “financial security”.

While it may take a little bit longer to write a smarter goal, it’s worth the effort. Your goal drives the plan, and your plan tells you how much money you need to save, where to save it, how to invest it, and how much you will have left over to spend on other things.

In fact, wise financial decisions begin with a smarter goal.

If you need a little help setting a smarter financial goal, I would be honored to serve you. Just give me a ring at 541-463-0899 (extension 2), reply to this message, or contact me to schedule an initial visit.

W. Ben Utley CFP® Physician Family Financial Advisors Inc. Visit: www.physicianfamily.com Call: 541-463-0899 Be certain.™

PS: Kyle’s dad named him after Sergeant Kyle Reese who goes back in time to save the humans from Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. Little did he know how much time Kyle would rescue for me, so I can spend more time with you.