Jessica Bown
AUTHOR Jessica Bown| CREATED 20 Jan 2016
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I want to sail the world – How to financially plan for your goals

With some smart financial planning and effort, you could really live out your life-long dreams.

Planning is vital if you want to realise a dream such as sailing around the world, buying a second home or retiring abroad. Without it, you are unlikely to achieve your life goals.

'Save, save, save is the simple message for anyone planning to give up work or retire early,' says Nicola Downs of Trentham Invest.

'Most people miss out simply because they have failed to save enough to achieve their life goals.'

Here is how to ensure that you are one of the lucky few who get to live the dream.

Work out how much it will cost

A quick internet search reveals that sailing around the world is likely to take you at least three years, during which time you will need to spend a minimum of about £1,000 a month on running costs.

Add to this the cost of a seaworthy craft, and you are looking at an overall cost of £100,000 at the very least.

Buying a second home, in the UK or abroad, meanwhile, can cost you double that or more. Depending on your financial situation, it may therefore take you many years to raise the funds to follow your dreams.

Choose where and how to invest

Choose flexible investments that will not tie you in for years to come.

'Flexibility is key as it gives you the opportunity to change your strategy further down the line,' Downs says.

If you are prepared to take some risk in the hope of boosting your returns, meanwhile, statistics show that equities tend to outperform cash and other assets over the longer term. You may, however, have a bumpy ride.

Downs said: 'Volatility can be worrying when you are investing in equities long term. But remember that the only amount that matters is the value when you come to cash your investments in.'

Buying individual shares is one way in. However, an investment fund that invests in a range of shares is probably a more sensible choice for most investors.

'Most people do not know enough to make money out of individual stocks and shares,' Downs says. 'They should therefore put their trust in a good fund manager who can take the important decisions for them.'

Diversify to lower risk

You can lower the risk of your investment portfolio by ensuring that your money is spread across a number of stocks, sectors, countries and asset types.

Investing in a fund is one way to do this as it is inherently less risky than putting all your money into one company.

The stock market remains a volatile place, though.

As you approach the point at which you want to draw on your savings, advisers therefore recommend reducing risk to avoid the value being decimated by sudden market falls.

This can be achieved by gradually moving your investments into less volatile assets that will reflect your intentions as to how and when you expect your savings to be paid to you.

 

Jessica Bown

Financial journalist Freelance

Jessica Bown is a freelance financial journalist with more than 10 years experience. She writes regularly for The Sunday Times and the Daily Express, as well as a variety of other newspapers, websites and magazines.