Respect money to get to your financial goals in 2015

Step One: Begin The Goal Setting Process In January

We begin our annual goal setting cycle in the weeks surrounding New Year’s Day. Why? Because it’s virtually impossible to forget or avoid this annual holiday event.

The New Year is a natural time to reflect on achievements from the prior year and start thinking about what we want to achieve in the coming year. In short, it’s a perfect time to begin a goal setting cycle.

Your first task is to review your written goals from the prior year and compare them to your actual results.

 “No one can cheat you out of ultimate success but yourself.”  – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 Inevitably, your results will exceed expectations in some areas, and disappoint in others. The critical point here is to not judge yourself because you’re not your results.

Instead, I suggest positive reinforcement by rewarding yourself for all that you did achieve in the prior year. Take the time to celebrate your wins because you deserve it. Also note areas where you came up short, as that is honoring reality.

What are your results telling you? If you came up short on a goal, then what was the cause?

After all, if you said you wanted a goal, but didn’t achieve it, then there is opportunity for learning.

  • Did something change?
  • Did other goals take a higher priority
  • Did obstacles get in your way?

Maybe you’re just not committed to that goal, and should drop it or change it.

You don’t get to be right or wrong during the review process, as that won’t serve you well. There’s no value in belittling yourself for missing a goal because that will just take away from honoring your successes.

The purpose is simply to get clear on what worked in the prior year and what didn’t. Just notice the facts and make conscious what happened, but don’t judge yourself.

“When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal.”  – Napolean Hill

Where did you meet with success, and where did you come up short? Your objective is to learn from experience and improve your goal setting for next year based on what you discover.

You’re creating an active feedback loop so you can correct and adjust your goals every year to get what you want out of life.

This correct and adjust process works much like rocket guidance systems. When a rocket is launched to a faraway destination, it’s traveling off course more than 80% of the time. Yet, the same rocket will hit its target with pinpoint accuracy. The key is correcting and adjusting.

The rocket knows its goal and is constantly correcting its trajectory during flight until it arrives at the destination. You can do the same thing by reviewing your goals each year and learning from your successes, as well as your failures.

 Step Two: Prepare Financial Statements

The next step during the annual review process is to compose a “quick and dirty” income statement and balance sheet.

This task is particularly easy around the turn of the year because annual tax statements must be prepared showing your assets, income and spending.

When you prepare these statements you are treating your personal finances with the professionalism of a business. You’re respecting your money.

I also suggest plotting your net worth and residual income on a chart so you can track your progress toward your goal of financial freedom. This is very important if you’re working toward the goal of financial independence or retirement security.

 The person who makes a success of living is the one who sees his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.  – Cecil B. DeMille

 Once you’ve updated your financial statements and reviewed your past goals, you’re then complete with the feedback loop portion of the process.

You now have a solid foundation on which to build your new goals. You have a current snapshot of your financial picture, and you understand what worked from the prior year, what didn’t, and why.

 Step Three: Ask The Right Questions

The next step in your annual goal setting process is to decide what you want to create with your life moving forward by asking yourself some questions:

 What do I want this year?

What will it take for this year to rate as a 10 on a scale of 1 to 10?

If failure was not a possibility because I’m guaranteed success, then what would I do? How would I play the game of life differently?

What values do I hold dear that I would like to honor in the New Year?

What’s frustrating or dissatisfying about my life, and how would I like to change it?

If I graded the various parts of my life (relationships, business, money, health, recreation, etc.) on a 1 to 10 scale, what grade would each receive, and what do I want to do this year to create the grades I really want?

What objectives would make the biggest, most profound difference in my life?

Step Four: Compile And Prioritize Your List Of Goals

After I’ve answered these questions, I get together with my wife to create a combined goal sheet for the family. She follows a similar process independent of me and creates her own agenda.

We then compare lists and create a combined family agenda for the year that’s broken into two categories: the first list has business and financial goals, and the second list has our personal and family life goals.

It’s important to note that we don’t just add the lists up to create one summation list. Instead, we negotiate the goals knowing that we must focus to succeed.

Less is more, and this is critical to note. More goals doesn’t equal more success, but more focus on just a few goals that make the biggest difference will equal more success.

Having more goals won’t lead to to success. Focus on fewer goals for the best results instead.

We compare our goals to the “10 Keys To A Winning Goal” checklist found in Step Two of the Seven Steps to Seven Figures course that this article is excerpted from, and we put on the back burner those goals that don’t make it to the top.

After years of practice, we have learned to enjoy greater balance and happiness by focusing on just a few critical goals and actually achieving them, rather than setting ourselves up for disappointment by getting spread too thin with too many goals.

What amazes me about this process is how powerful it is while being deceptively simple.

It never fails to redirect our thinking.

It creates clarity and cohesive focus for both of us to operate as a team, and helps us create a more satisfying and fulfilling life for our family.

It redirects our lives and keeps us from drifting aimlessly or living day to day.

Step Five: Get Into Action To Achieve Your Goals

Once you’ve set your goals, you now have a whole year to achieve them. But how are you going to do that? What is your next step? My suggestion is to divide and conquer.

Keep things simple by picking from the list only those goals that are the most exciting and juiciest of all, so you can focus your limited time and energy resources on them.

What’s your top priority for the year? What’s the most time sensitive or immediately compelling goal on your list?

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”  – Oprah Winfrey

Once your goals are prioritized, then you can pick either of the two strategies from below to begin executing your plan of action.

I offer two different strategies because each is appropriate for different situations, depending on conditions. Certain goals and personality types work best with one or the other approach. Which of the following approaches is best will depend on your personal style and the particular goal you are pursuing.

Next Step Approach: This is a forward looking approach where you just pick the next step to achieve your goal, complete it before figuring out the next step, and so on until your goal is realized. You don’t worry about the big picture with all the planning issues (which might bog you down because too much is unknown, or the whole process is too big to grasp). Instead, you just determine whatever the logical next step is, and trust it’ll take you to the next step until the path becomes clear. You’re like the rocket that’s correcting and adjusting its flight path. This also helps you avoid the “get ready to get ready” syndrome so that you can get started right now and not get stuck in procrastination excuses.

Reverse Engineering: This approach requires you to start with the whole plan in mind from the beginning by reverse engineering it into smaller tasks to complete. You then further subdivide the tasks into additional actionable steps, while continuing to break it down until you have daily actions that will take you to your goal when completed. The advantage to this process is it breaks big tasks down into digestible bite size chunks, making the whole process very easy to grasp. It’s most effective for analytical personality types, or situations where the entire path to the goal can be understood and mapped out in advance.

Both of these approaches help you succeed by reducing the intimidation and confusion that is sometimes associated with larger goals that take us into unfamiliar territory. They reduce your fear factor by transforming goals that are too large to grasp into actionable items that you can easily execute.

Each strategy answers the question, “where do I start?” and “where do I go next?” so that you don’t get stuck in procrastination.

Step Six: Persist Until You Achieve Your Goal

“Let me tell you the secret that has lead me to my goal. My strength lies solely in my tenacity.”  – Louis Pasteur

Once you have picked your goal and developed your plan to achieve the goal, then the rest of the game is simply a matter of getting started and not stopping until you reach it.

Every time you complete an action step, you’re one small step closer to your big goal.

Just keep on correcting and adjusting until you get there with rocket-like accuracy.

Enough said?

Step Seven: Maintain Focus By Reviewing Goals Regularly

Finally, the last part of this annual cycle is you must create a habit of refreshing your goals throughout the year. This means you must review them regularly and rewrite them as necessary.

The purpose of this step is to maintain your focus throughout the year as life’s clutter attempts to distract you from what’s important.

By reviewing your goals regularly, you’re counteracting all the forces outside of your control designed to sideline your plans.

Some people like to post them on their wall, keep a copy on their desk, or post them in their Day Timer or smart phone. Whatever is convenient and will remind you on a regular basis about your goals so that you maintain front of the mind awareness is what’s important.

“It matters not what goal you seek. Its secret here reposes: You’ve got to dig from week to week To get Results or Roses.”  – Edgar Guest

In summary, the seven step process you just learned is designed to do one thing: make goal setting a habit. You must habitually create and refresh your goals to gain all the value from this incredibly effective tool.

By following a habitual goal setting process, you’ll become part of the 3% that outperforms the other 83% by a factor of 10 to 1. You’ll also put yourself firmly on the road to retiring early and wealthy.

It truly works.

Goal Setting System Key Points

There are three major points you should take from this article:

Practicing goal setting and reviewing your goals is necessary to live the greatest version of yourself in this lifetime. Not using goal setting technology to the best of your ability is simply wasteful. It’s the equivalent of flushing opportunity down the toilet.

”You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.”  – Charles C. Noble

 Goal setting engages your mind in five different ways to achieve your goals. This gives you a distinct competitive advantage over others who don’t regularly set and review their goals. This competitive advantage can make the difference between retiring early and wealthy, or living a lifetime of financial mediocrity.

The most effective way to get all the value out of goal setting available is to make it a habit. Set your goals at least annually, and review them at least monthly. Build a regular cycle out of the process so that it becomes an integral part of your life. If you set goals in a random or irregular fashion, then you will get random and irregular results. If you set and review your goals regularly, you will move them to the forefront of your mental awareness, which will create more consistently profitable results.

The bottom line is if you want to retire early and wealthy, then regular goal setting must become an integral part of your life practice. Financial coaching is a great tool to add accountability, support, and additional insight to not only setting goals, but also following through long enough to actually achieve them.


Contact Connie Dello Buono, jr  financial planner to save on your income taxes thru a business structure and financial strategy and have a chat with a sr investment advisor. 408-854-1883

Suddenly everything is a choice rather than a mandatory cost, your personal finance resolution for 2015

  1. Car: Riding a bike or bus to work. Think of saving the car insurance and cost of gas for years before buying your dream car.
  2. House: Settling for a room to rent or mobile home or community house sharing. Think Income first before Spending.  This means buying a fourplex as your first home or a house that you can rent out first and own the second or third house while maintaining the rental homes. Know capital gains and ways to control them thru sound investing and business structuring.
  3. Emergency Fund for unforeseen events like car repairs, college teens, lost job or lost opportunity. Cutting on stuff that you want to cut back on like expensive vacations to fatten your emergency funds first.
  4. Emotional about spending, mortgage worries. The reality of being debt-free is more important than joining or copying the Joneses.    Buying stuff second hand.
  5. Saving in your net worth personal banking , be it in your bank savings account, cash value life insurance, managed stock savings/account, bonds, others.
  6. Negotiate everything or trade/barter services for stuff.
  7. Challenge Are you getting value in your gym membership?
  8. Marry someone with same level of ambition, personal finance habits and enterprenueral spirit as you.
  9. Walk your talk when guiding your children about finances. Allow them to work during summer break or school break to learn the value of money. Use a revocable living trust to transfer assets to them.
  10. Take care of your health for in the end, when your health fails you might end up selling your houses to pay for nursing home. Health first and then wealth Or move to other countries or cities to downsize and afford retirement.
  11. Use a business structure and financial strategy to write off most of your expenses and save the extra when you minus your lifestyle from your gross income. For this one, contact Connie Dello Buono to help you reduce your income tax using a business structure and financial strategy at 408-854-1883 ,

Donate your real estate to the following charities: Motherhealth Inc for affordable senior care and Green Research Institute for sustainability at 1708 Hallmark Lane San Jose CA 95124. Contact Connie Dello Buono.

C-corporations for doctors and high net income clients to help reduce income taxes

If you are a doctor or business owner, let us help you with a business structure and financial strategy to reduce your income taxes.

C-corporations enjoy their own graduated rates. The first $50,000 of taxable income in the C-corporation is taxed at a 15 percent federal rate versus the top marginal rate of the shareholder (currently 35 percent) that the owner of an S-corporation will be taxed.
Even if the owner of a C-corporation forgot to zero out the corporation and left $50,000 in the entity, the corporate tax would be only $7,500. A divided of the remaining $42,500 would only be taxed at a rate of 15 percent, resulting in taxes of another $6,375 and leaving $36, 125 (or 72.2 percent).
If the 50 percent had been in an S-corporation and the owner had an annual income of more than $300,000, the federal tax rate would have been 35 percent (or $17,500). In this example, leaving $50,000 to be taxed in a C-corporation would actually have saved the owner more than $3,600 in taxes!
Personal service corporations (PSCs) such as attorneys, doctors, and accountants, do not receive the benefit of these graduated rates since PSCs are taxed at a flat 35 percent rate. Therefore, PSCs do not enjoy the same benefits of the graduated C-corporation rate structure that other types of businesses will enjoy. However, PSCs can take advantage of the full Section 179 expense deduction in writing off furniture and equipment in the year of purchase.
C-corporations are afforded their own Section 179 deduction limitation. Shareholders of an S-corporation must accumulate the Section 179 deduction among each of their pass-through entities, thus they could be limited in a given year.
If the practice has rental activity, a C-corporation which is not a PSC has the advantage of using rental losses to offset operating income. Shareholders of an S-corporation must treat rental losses as a passive activity subject to the passive loss and at-risk rules.

We at Harding Financial can help direct you to a CPA and together with you help you implement a financial strategy to reduce income taxes. Contact Connie 408-854-1883

section 79 and C corp for business owners for protection and retirement

Section 79 and C corp brochure

Doctors’ year end financial and business planning

Dear Doctor,

I am a financial advisor at Harding Financial which specialize in strategic tax planning strategies using a combination of corporate structuring and financial planning.   In working with new clients, we find that doctors are paying unnecessary taxes due to improper corporate structure and improper pay and financial structure.  With proper corporate, financial and pay structure, we can often eliminate large amounts of unnecessary taxes that you are currently paying to the Federal and State Governments.  If you have not sat down with a knowledgeable financial advisor who works hand in hand with your CPA to implement strategies that align your corporate, pay, and financial planning structures, you are paying unnecessary taxes.  CPAs are excellent in finding tax deductions through accounting, Harding Financial Partner advisors are excellent in finding deductions through an integration of corporate structure and financial planning.

Our planning and analysis goes beyond what typical financial advisors, and even CPAs, do for clients.  Additionally, our research and experience indicates that Dr. personal assets are exposed to litigation due to improper personal asset protection planning and strategies that are not in sync with their practice corporate structure.  If you would like to hear more about what we do for private practices and Doctors, please let me know and I will schedule a short, 30 minute, introductory call to see if our planning process and models interest you and are a fit for your situation.    There is still time to implement our strategies for tax year 2014, but that window is closing rapidly.  Talk to you soon.


Connie Dello Buono

Financial Advisor


Harding Financial

Take advantage of legitimate tax strategies to grow your nest egg as quickly as possible

Do not catch a falling knife but do use tax strategies to grow your wealth which is a more effective strategy than trying increase returns on risky investments. Call Connie Dello Buono to meet our senior financial advisors and wealth managers who have a track record of protecting you especially if the market corrects itself by end of November 2014. 408-854-1883

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