No matter your age, you’re likely feeling overloaded with tips and financial advice coming from every direction. Between strategies on how to get out of debt fast, or expert advice on how to invest your money, it can all start to feel overwhelming. So what financial tips should you actually listen to?
The answer is that the best financial advice for you will change depending on your age. This is because your personal incentives shift and adapt to every major life event. Marriage, kids, home-ownership, health — all of these are examples of things that will impact your financial needs. Of course, there are some tips that will always be true. Setting a budget, getting rid of debt, prioritizing savings, and establishing an estate plan are some examples.
However, the strategy for your overall financial wellness should be dynamic and adapt to where you’re at in life. This guide has you covered at every age.
Financial Advice for College Students and Millennials
When you’re just gaining independence by going to college, and then later graduating and entering the workforce for the first time, it’s easy to fall into some dangerous traps. If you’re under the age of 21 and reading this article, listen closely. By setting good financial habits now, you’ll be setting yourself up for success for a lifetime:
Set clear financial goals for yourself and make a plan for how you’ll stick to each goal.
Keep your education loans as low as possible by looking for work-study and scholarship opportunities.
Get informed on how the credit system works and start establishing credit without racking up debt.
Set up and start contributing to a retirement savings plan as early as you can.
Start thinking about your Estate Plan knowing that you can never be too young to start one.
Financial Advice for Newlyweds
When you meet a great partner and make the decision to get married, your financial incentives suddenly change drastically. Now, not only are you dealing with your own budget and financial goals, you are now dealing with your partner’s budget and financial goals. You are both likely to come into the relationship with some financial skeletons in the closet that need to be discussed. On the positive side, you can now enjoy some financial power through combined income and tax advantages. You’ll also start to have some combined financial goals as well. Make sure you don’t add unnecessary stress to your fledgling life as a married couple by following these financial tips:
Set up a judgement-free zone and have an honest discussion about income and debt obligations
Sit down with a financial planner to get advice on combining income and assets, as well as identify financial priorities.
Spend time setting up SMART goals to tackle debts, savings and other financial targets together.
Create a joint budget and be transparent about your spending habits to avoid future conflict.
Plan for your retirement and put a Will into place.
Financial Advice for Homebuyers
Buying a home is one of the single largest purchases you’ll be making in your lifetime. You shouldn’t shy away from homeownership, because it’s a great way to invest your hard-earned savings. Because the stakes are so high, make sure you do your due diligence and conduct plenty of research before committing. Before you can buy a home, you’ll need to make sure your financial ducks in a row. Follow the pieces of advice below to make sure you’re ready to become a homeowner:
Run a credit report to ensure you’re qualified to take out a home loan.
Research first-time home buyer assistance programs to see if you qualify in your area.
Conduct research on home prices in your area to get ideas on location, size and price.
Compare mortgage options, rates and fees to determine a realistic budget on out-of-pocket expenses such as the down payment and closing costs.
Reassess your finances and realign your spending and saving with your new savings goal in mind.
Update your Will and consider adding a Trust.
Financial Advice for First-Time Parents
When you have a child for the first time, everything changes. So far, you’ve made all of your financial decisions for your own good, but that will go out the window when you bring new human life into the world. Many parents often say that their entire perspective changes, and they become devoted to ensuring a good childhood for their newborn. Raising a child is no simple task, and is a significant financial undertaking. Read through the following financial advice so you can mentally prepare yourself for what it takes:
Do your research and come up with a realistic understanding of how much it actually costs to raise a child.
Create a household budget to make sure you don’t overspend.
Adjust your emergency savings target to include the needs of your child.
Research childcare and education costs early and begin to save.
Don’t make major financial decisions or make moves to upgrade your home size without first consulting a financial planner.
Update your Estate Plan as soon as possible and ensure you’ve nominated a guardian for your children.
Financial Advice for Seniors
End of life planning is increasingly important these days, as our healthcare improves and our life expectancies increase. Seniors are requiring more and more financial resources to ensure a good quality of life as they live out their golden years. If you’ve been financially responsible, then you would have begun to save for retirement in your 20s. However, there are also options for those who are just getting started:
Start contributing the maximum contribution allowance for your retirement accounts, which increase after a certain age. These are called “catch-up contributions.
Develop a spending plan for your retirement, including a plan to limit your expenses. Take advantage of age-related discounts and deals!
Come up with a Plan B in case your retirement savings don’t cover the projected duration of your retirement.
Think twice before you take out any new loans or use your credit cards.
Make sure your Will or Trust covers all your assets and has taken into account major changes, such as the addition of grandchildren.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, there is a subset of <i>financial advice</i> that you should be paying attention to. The tough part is figuring out what financial tips are most applicable to you. The guide above should make it easy for you to pick up on the tips that apply to you today so that you can get started as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to make a mental note of the other sets of advice for other age groups so you can start planning early. You should notice, however, that the common denominator no matter what your age is prioritizing your Estate Plan.
Not sure what it takes to establish an Estate Plan? Explore what we have to offer or reach out today to chat with a live member support representative!