10 Financial Goals to Reach By Age 40
Once we hit our 40s, we should have a firm handle on our careers, our family relationships, and have built a strong foundation for long-term financial success. To help you get a gauge on where you are, we’ve put together our 10 Financial Goals to Reach By Age 40.
1. Reevaluate Your Priorities: Structures and plans you put in place during your 20s and 30s may no longer be important to you. Now that you’re in your 40s, it’s time to reevaluate all of your plans for financial success, including: retirement, financial security, and insurance (health, life, disability, and long-term care). Additionally, by this time you should already have a will in place to protect your loved ones and make your final wishes known. If you don’t yet have a will, there are plenty of online resources available, or you may consider discussing wills with a financial planner.
2. Increase Retirement Savings: Saving for retirement should be a top priority. If you are making more money now than you were in your 20s and 30s, it’s time to take a serious look at boosting your retirement contributions. You should max out all available contributions at work – but make sure you get financial planning advice to avoid any potential tax pitfalls once you are able to retire.
3. Debt is No Longer A Dark Cloud: Eliminate some of your largest expenses by cutting down on interest being charged from credit card expenses, student loan debt, car, or home loans. Prioritize paying off debt with higher interest rates first, and you’ll be on your way to financial security. Image retiring mortgage-free!
4. Solidify Your Emergency Fund: Make sure to add to it regularly, even if you don’t think you need to – and maintain it. Unexpected life events can cause huge financial strain for those unprepared – be ready for medical, legal, wedding, or other miscellaneous expenses you can’t quite predict, by saving 3-6 months’ worth of your salary over time.
5. Prep For the Cost of College: If you have kids, you should have been planning for their college expenses from day one. By now, in your 40s, you should have a fund set up for them. It can be tempting to tap into your retirement savings to pay for college. But remember, you (or your kids) can always borrow for college – but you can’t borrow for your retirement.
6. Hire Help When You Need It: With more assets and expenses in this stage of your life, you may not be sure how to best deploy them. That’s where a good financial planner comes in. You don’t need someone to completely take over your financial future, but you’ll want and need sound financial advice to make sure you’ve covered all your bases and blind spots when it comes to taxes, funds, investments, and debt. If you don’t yet have a will in place, now is the time to create one. If you have one, review it. Make sure your assets go where you want them to go in a comprehensive estate plan you can create on your own or with the help of a financial advisor or attorney.
7. Insure What Matters Most: If you are like the rest of us, life insurance is one of those things you don’t really think about – until you must. But you must be prepared for the worst. If you are married, if you have kids – you must have life insurance. The usual rule of thumb is that you need life insurance that covers ten times your annual salary.
8.Real Retirement Planning: What will you do in retirement? Where will you go? Will you move out of state? Make sure you set goals: is there something you want to do or learn? Hobbies that you wish to pursue? Think about how you want to retire first. These questions will help guide the steps you should be taking to get you where you want to be.
9. Investment in Your Home: By now, you have a great deal of equity built up in your home. Many of us are tempted to borrow against that equity to make home improvements. But those investments usually won’t be recouped when you sell. You must think carefully before you act. It’s much better to take care of the regular maintenance of your home and not go into debt. That way, you’ll have better options once you retire.
10. An Apple a Day: You can’t enjoy your retirement unless you have your health. Take care of yourself. Make sure you get an appropriate level of physical activity and get regular checkups.
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