Your 30s is vital because it is where you make crucial decisions and enter major life chapters such as getting married and building a family. At this point, delays can be crucial and can have a lasting impact on your retirement savings. That’s why it’s high time to be more proactive in your approach to retirement and financial planning.
Because it’s not all about you anymore, you need to be more strategic in finding ways to gain long-term financial security for you and those dependent on you. Not only that, but you also need to ensure that you become financially independent as you grow older so that you will not be a burden to your loved ones down the road.
If you’re in your 30s, here’s what you need to do to make sure that you’re on track for retirement.
Stick with the Essentials
Budgeting and paying yourself first are the two important foundations of any financial plan. Stay on the habit of creating a budget and tracking where each penny goes. The key is to make the most out of your income and make sure that a good portion of it goes to your retirement savings. Make adjustments along the way if necessary.
Apart from your savings, you can also automate your contributions to a 401(k). This is a good way to pay yourself first, because even before you get a hold of your paycheck, part of it is already put into your retirement nest egg. Also, you can consider giving yourself a raise by increasing your contributions each time your employer increases your salary.
Investing is a good way to grow your money for retirement. However, this can be a tricky move and you need to be smart about how you allocate your assets into different types of investment vehicles.
The key to effective investing is determining your level of risk tolerance and how much you want to gain in the future. At your current age, you can afford to invest in high yielding but high-risk investment vehicles, as you have enough time for long-term gains and enough room to recover should you encounter short-term losses.
Sign up for a 529 Plan
Sending a child to a college is the goal of every parent. However, not all of them are able to do this because of the ever increasing cost of college education. If you want to make sure that your child has resources to help him or her go to college, consider signing up for a 529 savings plan.
The money you save in a 529 account can be used for educational expenses such as tuition fee, room and board, and items that are necessary for learning such as a new computer. It is also available in all states and there are no income restrictions, so that means that you can easily qualify. Also, anyone can contribute to this fund and you don’t have to pay federal taxes on the account’s earnings.
Know your Insurance Needs and Buy the Necessary Coverage
Life insurance and disability insurance are essential for thirty-somethings, because there are people depending on their income.
Experts advise getting term life insurance for those in their 30s. But that’s just a rule of thumb. Your death benefit should be in-line with your family’s needs. Consider their current lifestyle, household expenses, mortgage, child’s education, and even burial expenses.
Meanwhile disability insurance is also essential as it will act as your income replacement should you experience a disability and become unfit to work for a period of time. If you’re an employee, see if your company offers this type of coverage. Otherwise, you can always purchase this policy on your own.
Determine if Buying a House is Right for You
A house is one of the most important purchases that a person will make in his lifetime. Apart from offering shelter, it is also one of the largest assets anyone can have—and home ownership can have advantages in retirement.
Before you buy a house, there are certain questions you need to ask yourself. Are you planning to stay permanently in your current location? Can you handle the cost of buying a house, including its upkeep and taxes? If you answer yes to these questions, buying a house can be a smart move for you. But if purchasing a property will compromise other areas of your finances, you may opt to rent for a while and determine what adjustments you need to make in order to afford a house in the future.
On the next part of this series, we will focus on forty-somethings and how they can stay on track in retirement planning.