At Mackey Advisors™ we do some things a bit differently than the rest of the financial world.  Prospective clients are looking for financial advice they are encouraged not to show up to our office with briefcases bulging with investment statements and tax returns.  Numbers are numbers and too often they bring on feelings of fear and resentment of the past.

We feel that is no mindset to be in when engaging with a new wealth advocate.  Paramount to the discussion is “Who you are”, and “Where you want to be”.  It’s more engaging, more exciting, and frankly much more fun.  From our discussion we facilitate a goal setting process where we ask people to dream big!

When seeking financial advice or creating a financial plan we all tend to think about only one set of goals, and many of us set parameters so small we would feel deprived moving through life. Our goal setting process focuses in on what is “Ideal” and what is “Acceptable”.  Most of us have all had some goal or idea that we dismissed as impossible.  Maybe it is to retire at 55, buy a beach house, or have the money in the bank to send your kids off to an Ivy League school.  If you have, then you should make those your “Ideal” goals.  

Most of us also have that more practical side to us as well.  Perhaps a beach house would be nice, but just spending 3 months each winter in one might still be pretty awesome. (Especially when it’s 5 below back home!)  That should be your “Acceptable” goal.

Think of “Ideal” and “Acceptable’ in this manner:


  • Wow!  Awesome!  This is incredible!
  • Don’t dismiss anything, dream big!


  • I like that.  Contentment.  This is good.
  • I can enjoy my life and make it work.

This builds a decision making framework where you can build a life that incorporates the things that mean the most to you.  Perhaps you make that “Ideal” goal of retiring at 55, because you decided that it was more important than owning in beach house.  Upon further thought you may have had the epiphany that even if you owned your beach house, you would only have time to use it 3 months anyway, and the rest of the year its maintenance and expenses would just be nuisances in the way of other things you would like to do.

If you are traveling somewhere new it is often hard to get there without a map or nowadays a GPS device.  However, if we have those tools, there may still be a few wrong turns, but we usually find our desired destination.  Articulating your goals, understanding what among them are most and least important, and constructing a financial plan around them will get you where you want to be and help you avoid the dead ends.

After working with dozens of individuals and families, take it from me.  The process works.  Decide what is important to you, dismiss nothing, and hold no judgment on the past.  You are where you are, so focus on where you want to be and take action to get there. This is more than just financial advice, this is a great life lesson!

Related Posts:

Financial Planning – Helping you see the Big Picture

4 Steps to Achieving Your Dream

Schedule a Plan Date with Your Finances