2 tricks to turning savings dreams into reality

Goal setting is an important part of saving and investing. Get started with these simple steps.

Someday.

It's a word for dreamers. Someday I'll have that dream house. Someday I'll have the freedom of living life without debt. Someday I'll have those amazing adventures in far-off places in the world.

But when is that someday? That's the big question most can't answer because the truth is—for most people, someday is a more of a hope more than an actual plan. More of a 'I hope this works out' than an 'I got this!'

So today, let's turn your someday into a real plan with a real date... and a real chance for getting there. That starts with these simple steps:

Step 1: Write down your goal – whatever it is you want to achieve

In her experience, Katelin Dilger, Fidelity advisor and coach for clients in the Fidelity® Personalized Planning & Advice program, says one simple act can make a big difference in helping you toward a goal: writing down what you want to achieve.

'Writing down or typing out your goal forces you to define it—whether it's a big wedding or retiring early,' says Dilger. 'Suddenly, that dream you've had in your head becomes a real thing on paper, with a real date you want to hit... and, the most powerful part is, you start to feel accountable for working toward it.'

All it takes to start is a few dedicated minutes to write down the goal you're striving for, the amount you've saved so far, the amount you can add each month, and—importantly—the date you'd like to achieve it by.

'Remember,' says Dilger, 'this is a starting point for you. Don't feel badly if you need to revise your information down the line. The important part is that you begin to set markers for yourself.'

Here's a simple chart you can even use to do this exercise for your personalized goals:

  Example 1 Example 2 Your Goal
Your goal Pay off all student debt Save for house down payment  
Amount needed $30,000 $65,000  
Amount saved $1,000 $25,000  
Amount you can add monthly $200 $500  
Date you'd like to hit goal 2024 2022  

This is a hypothetical example for illustrative purposes.

With that simple act of writing your goals down, you should congratulate yourself. You're already ahead of the game. Now, what's the second powerful step toward achieving your goals?

Step 2: Create a separate investment plan for each goal you want to achieve

Chances are, if you have more than one longer-term goal you want to achieve—say, building a down payment for a house while also saving for a child's college tuition—savings accounts alone may not get you there.

'To help you reach your goal,' says Dilger, 'you may want to consider putting your cash into a mix of stocks, bonds, and other investments to give your money a chance to grow faster than a savings account would.'

That specific mix of stocks, bonds, and other investments is what we call your investment strategy. And investment strategies can differ greatly depending on the level of growth you are seeking and the amount of risk you are willing to accept.

'The trick,' says Dilger, 'is for you to match your goal with an appropriate investment strategy. You likely do not want to take on too much risk for a shorter-term goal. On the flip side, if your goal has a longer-term timeline, you may be fine with taking on some risk for the chance of greater growth.'

OK, you already started investing for one or more goals with your Fidelity Personalized Planning & Advice relationship, but how do you start investment planning for each of your other goals? That sounds like a lot of work to take on, right? Well, here’s the good news: a Personalized Planning & Advice coach can help you with that too. A coach can help you understand the principles behind a sound investing strategy, help you decide if any of your goals might make sense to add to your Personalized Planning & Advice experience, and even discuss other ways Fidelity can help you get started turning your goals into investment plans.

Make the easy call: Let Fidelity help you with investment planning for each goal

Here's how we can help kick-start your goal and investment planning:

Schedule a 1-on-1, 30-minute Investment coaching callLog In Required with a Fidelity coach, one of your exclusive benefits that's fully included as a Personalized Planning & Advice client.

'The first thing we do on that call is make sure we define each of your specific goals,' says Dilger. 'We'll talk through how much money you want for each goal and by when. Talking through those details really helps both of us clarify exactly what we want to achieve together.'

One key to a successful collaboration on the call? Including anyone who you'd like to be involved in the planning process. 'That will help us create a shared vision, to get a full picture,' says Dilger. Your coach even has the ability to conference in someone who may not be with you during the call.

The next step may be the most valuable. With each of your goals defined, Fidelity Personalized Planning & Advice coaches can use the information you provided to help you start planning for each goal.

'By the end of those 30 minutes,' says Dilger, 'we want customers to feel confident and excited that they have a real plan to invest and build toward their financial dreams. That's one of the most gratifying parts of our relationship.'

So, the question for you today is: Are you ready to turn your someday into a real plan, one with clear next steps to make it a reality? If so, schedule your 1-on-1 Investment coaching call todayLog In Required

This information is intended to be educational and is not tailored to the investment needs of any specific investor.

Investing involves risk, including risk of loss.
Fidelity® Personalized Planning & Advice provides non-discretionary financial planning and discretionary investment management for a fee. Advisory services offered by Fidelity Personal and Workplace Advisors LLC (FPWA), a registered investment adviser. Discretionary portfolio management services provided by Strategic Advisers LLC (Strategic Advisers), a registered investment adviser. Brokerage services provided by Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC (FBS), and custodial and related services provided by National Financial Services LLC (NFS), each a member NYSE and SIPC. FPWA, Strategic Advisers, FBS and NFS are Fidelity Investments companies.

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