When most people think of wealth creation they think of being a millionaire or a billionaire but these goals don’t really mean much. Due to the effects of inflation being a millionaire is becoming less and less valuable. In fact, in 20 years time most home owners will be millionaires.
Being a billionaire, on the other hand, is not a goal that will really inspire most people as it is so large that they won’t relate to it and therefore won’t take it seriously.
So what is the best way to set your financial goals?
I suggest that you aim at being in the top 5% for both income and net worth.
At the moment, to be in the top 5% income bracket in the USA you need to earn around 5 times the average wage and to be in the top 5% net worth bracket you need to have accumulated about 20 times the average net worth.
The beauty of this approach is that it automatically takes into account inflation and it also puts your standard of living high enough to be a worthwhile, inspiring goal. At the time of writing this article, you would need to have an annual income of around $180,000 and net worth of around $2 million dollars to meet the 5% targets in the USA.
It is easy to keep your goals updated as most newspapers report average income and net worth at some stage through the year and of course the internet has all the information if you can master the search terms to actually find it.
Another benefit in setting your goals with the top 5% method is that it requires you to reassess the dollar value of your goals each year. This is much better than setting a goal to be a millionaire only to find out when you finally get there that inflation has eaten the value away so much that your million dollars won’t go anywhere near providing you your dream lifestyle.
So what does it actually mean to be in the top 5%? It means that you are doing better than 19 out of each 20 people. You get to live a better lifestyle than 19 out of each 20 people. You have more financial security than 19 out of every 20 people. In other words you’re doing pretty well, especially if you live in a country like America, Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, Japan or most of the European countries.
Being the best in 20 is not that hard to do. The bottom 10 don’t really have the ambition to set serious financial goals. The next 5 probably set some sort of vague goal but don’t have the determination to stick to them.
What this means is that if you take the time to set the goal and if you have the determination to stick with it then you should at least pass 15 of the 20, and that’s a good start. If you then add to this the habits of studying success strategies and of putting what you learn into practice then you are pretty well guaranteed to make it.
If you are not in the top 5% yet then you will find that this goal should be big enough to inspire you without being so big that it scares you. Once you have hit the top 5% and still want to climb the success ladder you could always reset your goal to the top 1% and so on. Who knows, you could end up being a billionaire but you have taken the sensible strategy of moving up in bite-size, relatable chunks.
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