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The secret to setting long-term goals

We know that thinking about the future can feel daunting, especially when so much around us is changing. This feeling of uncertainty can create a barrier when it comes to setting long-term financial goals. That’s why we’ve taken a closer look at the drivers behind important decision making.

What the research tells us

We conducted a survey1 to find out what matters most to people when they think about their future. We found 9 in 10 of us are working towards some kind of goal or aspiration, which includes:

  • 70% of us are working to achieve financial stability
  • 40% said they wanted to become a homeowner
  • 37% said they sought success in their job

Almost three-quarters of people felt that they had the power to achieve their goals in their own hands, however 1 in 10 felt this was completely down to luck.

While we may not know what the future will look like, how could this change the way we approach setting our long-term goals?

Bringing your goals to life

If we can identify what motivates us, we can begin to change the way we think about planning for the future. For example, we know that planning for a good retirement will provide us with financial support in later life. But if we think about what would make us happy, we’re able to paint a picture of what our retirement might look like.

For some people this could be spending quality time with their family. For others, it might be finding time for their hobbies or travelling to places they’ve always wanted to see. Bringing this image to life in our minds turns this practical goal into an emotional one, giving us something to work towards.

Need help?

By identifying what it is you really want from your future, you can take the first step towards setting your goals. But you don’t have to do it alone. If you would like guidance on how to plan for the long-term, a financial adviser can help you. You can visit to find an adviser that’s right for you.

The Money and Pensions Service is also there to help with guidance through their MoneyHelper service.


  1. Source: The research was carried out online by Research Without Barriers – RWB, between 18th February 2022 and 22nd February 2022, from a sample comprising 1,001 UK adults.