Objective or target, usually driven by specific future financial needs. Some common financial goals for an individual are: saving for a comfortable retirement, saving to send children to college, managing finances to enable a home purchase, minimizing taxes, maximizing return on investments given a certain risk tolerance, and estate or trust planning. Given a person's goals, he/she decides on a pattern of expenses and suitable investments that will enable those goals to be achieved. Institutions also have financial goals, for example making certain pension contributions at specific times, or retiring a certain amount of debt by a certain date. Often, both people and institutions find it useful to employ a professional to help them in setting up a financial plan that will enable their goals to be met.

For further explanation, see Goals vs. Objectives - Using Both to Get Where You Want to Go.

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