Money Goals To Reach By Your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and Beyond
There is no shortage of advice out there regarding the importance of setting financial goals that correspond with our long-term ambitions and lifelong dreams. Effective objectives take into account not just what we wish to accomplish but also how we intend to achieve it.
Personal priorities and disposition will naturally influence one's financial ambitions. However, as you progress through life's stages and encounter new economic challenges, your goals will shift. A person in their 20s will have a very different outlook on life than someone in their 60s, and their financial planning needs to reflect this.
Here are some common financial targets for every age bracket to keep in mind and some advice on how to get there.
Financial Goals for Your 20s
It's never too soon to start laying the groundwork for a secure financial future, so don't wait to get started. Achieving these objectives in your twenties will ease the transition to the next stage of your life.
Invest in Your Own Development
This one is the most enjoyable of all the objectives. Investing in yourself is an integral part of life in your twenties. This could involve taking a master's degree or earning professional certification. Take the time to grow your human capital, life experiences, and knowledge. If you don't invest in yourself today, you won't have such an easy time doing so when you're older.
Start Paying Off Your Debts
According to the 2021 Planning and Progress study by Northwestern Mutual, the average personal debt in the United States is $23,325, not including mortgage debt. Many people indicate that their capacity to achieve other financial goals has been hindered because of their high levels of debt, which takes up an average of one-third of their monthly budgets. In fact, 78% of Americans also said that debt had a negative impact on their capacity to attain long-term financial stability. That's why you should start managing your debt as early as you can, whether it's for college loans, a credit card, or a new car.
Make Sure You Have a Good Credit Score
Maintaining a solid credit score while you're still in your twenties will serve you well in the years to come. You can reap benefits like reduced interest rates, higher credit limits, and lower premiums if you build a good credit score. As such, you should always settle your payments on time and maintain low balances. As a rule of thumb, your credit utilization ratio should not exceed 30%. However, more and more financial advisers now recommend against exceeding 10% if you want a high credit score.
Retirement Planning Should Begin Now
Pensions, which offer a steady income that lasts until retirement, are significantly less common among Millennials. In fact, just 28% of people employed by businesses with 500 or more employees were enrolled in a pension plan in 2020. As such, establishing a retirement fund, be it a 401(k) via your employer, an HSA, a Roth IRA, or something else, is essential. Then, every month, set aside 10 to 15% of your earnings, or as much as possible while still meeting your living costs and other savings goals. It is best to begin saving for retirement early to take advantage of the benefits of compound interest.
Become Familiar With the Process of Investing
Many people get their first experience of investing when they open 401(k) funds at work. However, there are alternative ways to begin investing in your early twenties. Several robo-advisors focus on Millennials with affordable costs and minimums, so you don't have to wait until you're ready to start working with a financial advisor to get started. Robo-advisors can help many investors with money management by utilizing algorithms made by financial experts.
Using the SMART goal method can help you feel confident and comfortable about your progress. A solid plan is paramount to your success and using Specific, Measurable, Relevant & Timely goals will help keep you on track.
Financial Goals for Your 30s
When you're in your 30s, you may be moving up in your job, opening a company, purchasing a home, getting married, or raising your children. Nonetheless, you still have plenty of time to save and prepare for the future during your 30s. Manage your funds more effectively and ensure that you're planning for the future by focusing on a few essential points:
Make Your Savings Rate Higher
If you're in your late 30s, you should be saving 10 to 15% of your annual salary for the future. The more money you save, the better. Keep in mind that saving an extra 1% of your earnings every year can contribute tens of thousands of dollars to your retirement savings.
Increasing or Creating New Sources of Revenue
It's essential to diversify your investments, especially in your 30s, once you've finished college and established a secure career path. Rather than spending the weekend binge-watching shows, use that time to create new sources of income. Make money by renting your car, selling unused items, or taking up some freelancing work. There are unlimited possibilities.
Even if none of these options appeal to you, you still have to be proactive in your efforts to increase your income. There are many ways to improve your earning potential, including raising your pay, searching for a new job with a better salary, or creating an investment fund. Being in your 30s and earning the same amount of money as you did during your 20s is a sign that you're not doing well.
Get Rid of Your Debt (Aside From Mortgage)
Prioritize getting out of debt as quickly as possible by reducing your consumption, consolidating your debt, or enrolling in a debt reduction program. Although overall debt is decreasing, Americans spend an average of 30% of their monthly salary on loans aside from mortgages. Credit cards, vehicle loans, and student loans account for a large portion of this debt. Because of this, it is imperative that you take the time to plan out how you'll pay off all your debt. Starting with the debt with the highest interest rate is the best strategy.
Consider the Costs of Housing
Figures from the United States Census Bureau show that roughly 38.5% of people under 35 years old owned a home during the third quarter of 2021, compared to approximately 61.3% of people aged 35–44. Millennials are less likely than ever to purchase a home due to their heavy student loan debt, a lack of available mortgage options, and a general inability to cover the accompanying expenses. Although renting could be a viable option for some, the long-term advantages of owning a house outweigh the disadvantages.
Planning for the Future of Your Children
If you already have or want to have children, now is a great time to start thinking about their future education. There are several college savings programs, such as 529 plans, which you can begin contributing in your 30s to build up a sizable college fund later.
Make Sure You’re Covered by the Necessary Insurance
Many individuals in their 30s still think they're invulnerable. As a result, a large number of people are underinsured. Check to see if you've got the right property and casualty coverage for your property, car insurance, disability coverage, health care coverage, and life insurance. You'll find that your financial and insurance requirements will vary as your wealth grows, perhaps with the addition of a family.
Financial Goals for Your 40s
This is the midway mark in your career, which means you have a few new objectives to aim toward.
Earn Even More Money
For many people, this decade marks their prime working years as well as a terrific time to advance your career and raise your income. Check out qualifications and skills that can improve your resume and value. You also need to ensure you're getting paid what you're worth by keeping an eye on your industry.
Set Up a Will and a Trust
This is an excellent time to consider how your assets would be distributed if you were to pass away. An estate planner can assist you with writing a will, setting up trusts, naming beneficiaries, obtaining life insurance, and much more.
Increase Your Retirement Investments
By the time you're in your 40s, you should have at least double your annual income saved for retirement. If you've been saving for retirement so far, it's safe to put aside 12 to 15% of your salary. However, if you're just getting started, you'll need to save about 18 to 20% of your income to keep up.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
In theory, your health should always take precedence above anything else. This is even more crucial in your 40s, as with age comes an increased risk of experiencing health problems. In a 2018 Gallup survey, roughly 44% of American adults indicated they were concerned about not being able to cover medical expenses in the event of a significant illness or accident. As such, although it's impossible to avoid every disease, leading a healthy lifestyle increases your chances of preventing serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes and saving a substantial amount of money in hospital bills.
Pay Off Your Mortgage
If you're still paying your mortgage, it's probably your biggest debt and the one you should pay off the quickest. An excellent option to speed up your mortgage repayment is making extra payments against the principal each year. On a 30-year mortgage, this might save you thousands of dollars as well as several years off from your repayment schedule.
Financial Goals for Your 50s
In their 50s, many people begin to focus on retirement planning. The importance of financial preparation cannot be overstated at this age. Look into your future and decide what you want to do with your life.
Take Control of Your Retirement Income Arrangements
It's best to start planning for retirement in your 50s. This entails taking a hard look at your finances and determining how much money you have saved, as well as how much you will need in retirement. An anticipated deficit gives you plenty of time to revise your strategy. Saving more money or reducing costs could be the answer. This is also a perfect chance to reassess your investment portfolio and consider other retirement income options, such as a deferred annuity. If you want to retire at age 67, Fidelity suggests that you save six times your income by the time you are 50. Determine how much you have saved for your golden years and devise a strategy for achieving the ideal amount.
Consider Long-Term Care Insurance
The ideal time to prepare for long-term care is in your 50s, even if you don't want to think about it. Now that you're moving closer to retirement, it's time to think about the most severe risks you'll face. This decade is the best age to get long-term care insurance and reassess your funding options. You may have a more difficult time qualifying for long-term care insurance when you're older.
Financial Goals for Your 60s
Even though you're reaching retirement, there's still a lot of steps to be taken before you can enjoy a quiet life in the mountains or do whatever else you have planned for when you retire.
Decide on Working or Retiring
Having a strategy in place can help you achieve your financial objectives, whether you plan to keep working for as long as you can or retire as soon as possible. Retirement is more than simply a topic for financial preparation; it's a long and significant time in your life. Finances are merely an instrument for achieving a goal, with the goal being your dreams and plans for retirement. Take some time to imagine what your life will be like when you retire. Nevertheless, it's crucial to maintain a sense of purpose after retirement. You must have a strategy for how you will find meaning, joy, and dignity in retirement if you're at risk of being alone in old age.
Revisit Your Estate Planning
You should begin estate planning earlier, but it is a good idea to perform a comprehensive review as you approach retirement. There are many ways to go about this, including reviewing your current insurance policies and determining if you need additional coverage. Additionally, you must ensure that all your properties are correctly titled in your will and other estate planning paperwork. When assets are converted into retirement income, it's time to revisit your beneficiary list.
It's easy to become overwhelmed by the prospect of setting financial objectives for each decade of your existence. Fortunately, you can begin at any time, but the sooner you start, the better. Every decade, conduct a financial assessment to ensure that you're on course and doing the necessary measures to maintain a healthy financial position. You'll thank yourself later.
About the Author
Rick’s been with Money Fit by DRS for 18 years and early in his career, he managed two divisions, customer service, and credit counseling, before settling in his current role of managing the organization’s marketing efforts. He is known for being someone who’d give the shirt off of his back for you, and smile while doing it! He takes that positivity and problem solving to consumers when relaying a message of help, hope, and better times ahead. When he isn’t helping consumers regain control of their debt, he loves traveling and seeing new places.