Setting financial goals is very much a personal affair. One’s utopia is another’s dystopia, as the saying goes.
That might be over-egging matters a bit, but the things we want to achieve in life are unique to us. For instance, some people wish to work and live abroad, others are content with home comforts. You could, of course, strive for a bit of both.
The key is to find out what’s important to you and clarify the steps you need to take to make it happen.
But at the same time, learning the financial goals others aim to accomplish can sometimes be helpful, especially those with skin in the personal finance game.
So on that note, we asked seven of our experts to share their main financial priorities for 2024.
Here’s what they said.
Myron Jobson, Senior Personal Finance Analyst:
“Having purchased my very first property, my financial goal is to replenish my savings and investment accounts, following hefty withdrawals used to fund the house deposit. I also plan on giving greater attention to my retirement nest egg and plan on upping my pension contributions. I also plan on restarting Junior ISA contributions to give my darling daughter a good financial leg-up when she reaches adulthood.”
Victoria Scholar, Head of Investment:
“I am trying to buy a house this year so my financial goal for 2024 is to find a mortgage product that suits me best. One benefit of buying now is that house prices have come down quite a bit. But on the other hand, of course, borrowing costs have gone up.
“I don’t want to fix the mortgage for too long, so I can get a better rate in two to three years when rates hopefully come down. Also, I need to decide about whether to go for a repayment mortgage or opt for at least part interest only for now, while interest rates are at their peak.”
Lee Wild, Head of Equity Strategy:
“We want some work done on the house next year, so are putting money aside for that. It means I have more cash in the portfolio than I normally would have.”
Kyle Caldwell, Collectives Editor:
“My number one financial goal for 2024 is to increase contributions to our two children’s Junior ISAs. We invested a lump sum when we opened the ISAs, but due to having to prioritise other outgoings – mainly property renovations and childcare costs – the Junior ISAs have fallen down the priority list. We’re looking to rectify this in 2024 by putting a certain amount each month into each Junior ISA, so that over the long term my kids will benefit from the wonder of compounding. Hopefully they will thank us for it in later life when they can access the money from age 18 onwards.”
Keith Bowman, Investment Writer and Analyst:
“My financial objectives for 2024 are to continue building or accumulating my self-invested personal pension (SIPP) and to review and update my will now that both my children are 18 or over.”
Craig Rickman, Personal Finance Editor:
“I have several financial goals for 2024, including moving property and giving my retirement savings a boost. But my immediate priority at the start of the new year is to look under the bonnet of my investment portfolio to make sure my short, medium, and long-term goals are suitably catered for. This is a task that I undertake every January, to ensure the financial choices I make throughout the year are focused on the things I aim to achieve.”
Alice Guy, Head of Pensions and Savings:
“It’s perhaps no surprise that my personal financial goals for 2024 are pension-related. Like a lot of parents, my retirement savings had to take a back seat during a career break to care for my family. Now I’m back working full time I’m aiming to maximise my pension contributions in 2024 and pay in all I can afford. I have an overall goal for my pension and also some smaller goals along the way, one of which I’m hoping to hit this year.”
What are investors prioritising next year?
We conducted a flash poll* on our website to learn more about investors’ top financial goals for 2024.
So, what did we find? Well, the top answer was to reorganise and simplify investments – a priority for 32% of investors.
Elsewhere, some 29% plan to boost their ISA holdings, 11% aim to increase pension contributions, and 9% want to help out their kids financially.
When asked what barriers stand in the way of these goals, 45% of respondents said confidence about where to invest ranks highest, 28% cited the rising cost of living, 13% said a change in circumstances, while 6% flagged the cost of financial advice.
How do I set financial goals?
Working out what you want from life can be easier than it sounds. So, to round things off and to help set you on the right track, Alice Guy shares five tips for setting financial goals in 2024:
- Think big: sit down and think about what you want to achieve in the next 10 to 15 years. Think big as there are no rules here.
- Set smaller goals along the way: you might not be able to reach your big goals in the next year, but you can set smaller achievable goals along the way.
- Keep things simple: it’s better to have two or three achievable financial goals than 10 you don’t meet.
- Make a budget: now it’s time to get practical. Work out a simple but realistic budget and see if you’re on track to meet your financial goals. You might need to cut back in some areas and prioritise others instead.
- Check your pension and investment fees: the new year is a good time to check your pension savings to see if you’re on track with your retirement plans. If you’ve got lots of smaller pension pots, then consider consolidating under one roof to make things easier to manage. You could also save money on investment fees, depending on your provider – check first to make sure you don’t miss out on any valuable benefits.
*Survey of 778 website users and social media followers between 8-9 December 2023 and 11-13 December 2023.
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