Paying off debt, storing up savings, and investing in a home are a few ways to secure yourself financially before you hit middle-age. Here are ten financial goals you should try and achieve before your 40s.
1. Pay Off as Much Debt as Possible
Debt should be decreasing as you age, not the other way around. Paying off as much debt as possible before you reach your 40s will ensure you can spend your money the way you want during retirement. You can try using the snowball method to pay off debt quicker and sooner, or a debt consolidation loan to make payments more manageable.
2. Build an Emergency Fund
If you don’t have an emergency fund already, put this goal at the top of your priority list. Emergency funds should be three to six times your current monthly income. Building a fund with this amount of money will help support you if you have a job loss, health emergency, or urgent travel.
3. Life and Health Insurance
These might not be things you are thinking about if you’re in your 20s or 30s, but you need both of them before your 40s. Life and Health insurance will provide you and your family with financial protection should you experience a catastrophe or health crisis.
4. Retirement Planning
Retirement should be on your mind before you reach your 40s. Preparing early by making investments into a dedicated retirement account or saving money will ensure you are not overwhelmed when retirement is quickly approaching. Start a retirement account today and contribute as much as you can.
5. Plan for Your Children
Having money stashed away for your children will ensure they get the education and other things they need. Saving money for their college tuition is the most important because tuition prices are quickly rising. Consider opening an investment account such as a 529 savings plan and contribute money every month for education expenses.
6. Secure a Home If You Can
Owning a home can save you money throughout your life because you won’t have to spend money on rental fees and can instead put that money toward equity in your home as you pay off your mortgage. Once you pay off your mortgage, a home becomes an asset that you can leverage for retirement income or leave as a legacy for your family. If you can afford a mortgage, as well as the property taxes and maintenance fees that come with homeownership, getting a home may be worth it.
7. Consider Using a Financial Planner
Letting other people make decisions around your finances can be hard but using a financial planner will allow you to see the wisest ways to use your money. A planner can also give you advice on how to plan for the future, how to create a retirement fund, and help you create a will.
8. Start Planning for the Future
Make sure you are thinking ahead and setting goals for the future. Think about where you want to retire and how you want to retire. Plan your hobbies and the place you want to live. Knowing these things in advance will save stress and help you create a plan to get there.
9. Take Care of Your Health
Taking care of your health now could reduce the financial impact of your health care in the future. Make sure you are prioritizing your health, such as attending regular checkups, getting exercise, and buying healthy food even though it may be more expensive.
10. Keep the Equity in Your Home
Some people are tempted to use the equity in their homes to borrow money or take out loans. Protect your equity because it’s one of the best financial safeguards you have for the future. Try not to use the equity in your home to borrow more money as this could lead you into debt or even cause you to lose your home.
Checking off important financial milestones before you’re 40 can reduce stress and help you feel more secure in your future. Start tackling one at a time and you’ll master these financial goals by the time you turn 40.