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Financial planning tips for your 30s and 40's

10 financial planning tips for your 30s and 40's

After creating a strong financial foundation in your 20s, the next decade of your life is all about continuing to grow and protect your wealth. Your twenties may have been a difficult time financially, but you will find success in your thirties and beyond. This list of goals will help you build on your wealth and continue on the path to financial security.

Time To Level-up Your Career.

You have a valuable skill that you developed in your twenties. Now is the time to use that skill to earn more money. Look into different career paths that would make use of your skill. See what kinds of jobs and businesses would be a good fit for you. You may also want to think about getting more education in the form of an advanced degree. Making a sharp career turn can be a great way to improve your prospects, but it can also be risky. Make sure you have a financial plan in place to help you keep your budget steady while you’re making a change.

Re-Strategize your budget.

You created a budget in your twenties, which may have included some savings. However, as your income, expenses, and goals change from year to year, your budget will need to adapt to new life changes, such as getting married, having children, or starting your own business. You may need to cut spending in some areas to reallocate elsewhere. If you’ve recently gotten a raise at work, you may want to consider ramping up your savings and retirement budget.

Reconsider Your Insurance Needs.

As your assets increase, you may require additional insurance to protect them. Perhaps you now rent a larger or more private residence. (Learn more about renters insurance.) Maybe you’re in the process of purchasing a house (and need home insurance) or car (and need auto insurance). Maybe you have financial dependents who rely on you. When changing jobs, be sure to understand your new benefits and how your health insurance premiums will differ from your old job.

Pay Off Nonmortgage Debt.

Your twenties are the time to come up with a debt-repayment plan. Stick with it throughout your thirties, and you’ll enter your forties focused on building your nest egg for the future — not paying off bills from your past. If you haven't started, the strategy I personally used and found success with was a take on Dave Ramsey's Snowball method where You put all debts on the table and evaluate. You should then start paying down debt on your debt with the highest interest rate, once paid begin on the next highest, this would be considered the snowball method of paying down debt made popular by Dave Ramsey.

Increase Your Emergency Fund Balance.

It is important to have 3–6 months of living expenses saved up in case of an emergency. As your income and expenses change, so should the amount in your emergency fund. You may be worried that the cash is not growing as it would if it were invested, but it is important to have the cash available in case of an emergency.

Get Aggressive with retirement planning.

Most people’s experience with a 401k is being told they should sign up for it during onboarding or training, because of that It’s typical when you first begin saving for retirement to only contribute enough of your paycheck to earn your employer’s 401(k) match or what the auto-enrollment policy mandates by default.

The experts always recommend saving at least 15% of your gross income for retirement, but the good news is that your employer’s 401(k) match or contribution will count towards that. So, if your boss gives you 4%, you would only need to save 11% on your own. Whenever you get a raise, make sure to increase your contributions to your nest egg. If you get a bonus or other windfall. It’s also important to think about tax diversification. Generally, if you get a tax deduction now for contributing to a traditional IRA or 401(k), every dollar you withdraw in retirement will be taxed at your ordinary income tax rate — which could be as high as 39.6%. So by contributing or converting funds to a Roth IRA, you could pay taxes at your current rate, which might be lower than it will be in retirement.

De-Risk, Diversify and rebalance your investments.

Now is an excellent time to diversify your portfolio. Once you get into your thirties and you have the basics [such as an emergency fund and other necessities] settled, you can take on more risk overall. We recommend sticking with mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. They offer much-needed diversification with relatively low expenses. If you’re looking to invest for the long term, you should put most of your money into stocks. This can be done by buying individual stocks or investing in an index fund. It’s important to diversify your portfolio by including both big and small companies, as well as domestic and international stocks.

It is advisable to invest 70% of your portfolio in US stocks, 25% in stocks of developed foreign nations, and 5–10% in stocks of emerging markets. Additionally, you should rebalance your portfolio from time to time to ensure you stick to your chosen allocations. This will help you buy low and sell high.

Check and Monitor Your Credit Regularly.

You should check your credit report on a regular basis. This can be done for free by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com and viewing a free report from each of the three credit bureaus. By regularly reviewing your report, you could help fix errors quickly, catch an identity thief at work, or get on top of a potential problem early.

Get A Will.

If you haven’t been convinced of your mortality yet, try waking up in your thirties after a night of heavy partying. The hangover should be enough to show you that you’re old and that you’re going to die soon. So it’s time to write a will. Without one, complete strangers will decide how to spend your money and possessions.

You can create a will on your own for around $70 through a do-it-yourself website, such as www.legalzoom.com. However, if your circumstances are complex, it is advisable to consult with a lawyer, as they will likely charge around $300 for a simple will, and $1,000-$3,000 for an estate plan that involves a will and trust.

Although it may seem like a daunting task, it is important to have several key documents in place in case you become incapacitated. A durable power of attorney, release-of-information form, and living will, can help your loved ones manage your care and finances. These documents are not just for old people — they are critical to your life planning and well-being.

Keeping up with the Jone’s.

By your thirties, it may be quite clear that your choice to major in Liberal Arts has awarded you an income and lifestyle that pales in comparison with that of, say, your brother… the lawyer. You might find yourself feeling green and envious of the Porsche or the big house. Don’t try to keep up with others by spending more than you can afford and going into debt. Doing so will ruin your finances and make it difficult to reach your financial goals. Instead, focus on your own life and be content with what you have.


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