Do you ever wonder if you are on track financially? Sure. you can find plenty of websites out there with calculators that will say by age 30, 40, or 50 you should have various amounts saved. But is it possible to lump everyone together based on a certain age? What if you want to retire at age 55, and not at 65 years old? Or what if you want to purchase a retirement home in the Hamptons?
Utilizing the KISS protocol I like to take the approach of creating a dashboard that tracks specific goals. A goal that you track can be anything. You may want to ensure things like you are on track to retire at a specific age, see your net worth grow by a percentage each year, generate a certain amount of passive income, or that you will have enough college savings for your kids. Below is a sample dashboard that shows how you can take different measurements of your health at different times
For each of the measurements (Net Worth, Education Savings, Passive Income) the 1, 5, and 10 year goals in the box are generated by doing an analysis on what someone wants to achieve. For example in the net worth section, this person wants to hit specific net worth goals ($2, $5, and $12 million) over the next 1, 5, and 10 years.
In the Education section they said that they wanted to have enough saved by the time their child goes to college to cover 100% of the cost. In this case we could take a yearly measurement of their college savings and make determinations if they should save more or less, or be more or less aggressive with their investments. Or maybe they are on track and they do not have to make any changes.
In the Passive Income section usually everyone’s initial goal is to achieve financial independence by having enough passive income to cover all of their expenses. The first step with the analysis would be to take a look at how much passive income their investments are currently generating and then see what the gap is to get to financial independence. From there we would see how much every year the would have to save and allocate to income generating investments.
Determining and tracking your financial health is not rocket science. But it does take a system and a discipline to constantly measure and adjust what you are doing so that you stay on track and get to where you want to go.