Once you’ve reached your thirties, you have probably established a career path and you’ve gotten the hang of “adulting”. Now the next step is to begin planning for your financial future. These tips can get you started on a path to long-term stability.
Or, if you have adult children in their thirties, pass along this blog to them!
Consolidate your debt. If you’re carrying a credit card balance from one month to the next, chances are good that you’re subject to a high interest rate. Over time, the interest really adds up, and takes a bit out of your budget. Consolidate all of your high-debt balances into one, low-interest loan, or even transfer the balances to a card with a long, zero-interest introductory rate. Then pay down that debt as fast as you can, and don’t rack up any more in the future.
Take advantage of your employer’s matching contribution. In your thirties, priorities like saving for a home or having children can make it difficult to contribute the full amount to your retirement fund each year. Focus on contributing at least enough to reap your employer’s full matching amount, so that you’re not turning down an opportunity at free money.
Open and fund an IRA. If you don’t have access to an employer- sponsored retirement plan, open and fund an Individual Retirement Account instead. You can lower your income tax liability by making traditional contributions or make after-tax contributions to a Roth account and set yourself up for non-taxable income in retirement.
Avoid hasty decisions. With so much going on in the world, it is understandable that some people feel insecure about the future. But avoid making hasty decisions when it comes to investments or other financial decisions. Consult with a professional and remember that short term swings in the market are not an accurate predictor for the long term.
Purchase a home. For many people, especially those in their thirties, a home is their largest investment. Rather than throwing away money on rent each month, you can build equity in a property that holds value over time. Talk to an experienced mortgage professional if you think you can’t qualify for a mortgage due to student loan debt or other problems; there might be a solution you didn’t know about.
Meet with a retirement planning professional. Yes, retirement seems to be many years in the distant future. It can be difficult to even imagine yourself reaching that stage of your life! But in reality, many current retirees say they wish they had started planning much earlier. Take a lesson from them and start your own retirement planning now. Give us a call, and we can help you learn how to invest in your own future.