David Lerner Associates: 3 Financial Resolutions for your 30s
As the year winds down, it’s wise to get in financial shape and set goals for the future. There are a few financial milestones you should aim for in your 30s:
Balance competing financial priorities and goals. For many people, the 30s often represent a time of increased earning potential as they start to advance in their careers and move up the corporate ladder However, this is also the time when they may have started a family and assumed the financial responsibilities this involves, such as a home mortgage, life insurance, car payments, and all of the expenses involved in raising children. So a common financial challenge at this stage of life is balancing the goals of meeting growing financial responsibilities while also maintaining consistency in savings, especially retirement savings.
Create a budget that starts with your fixed monthly expenses (things like rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries, insurance, car payments, etc.). Then add extras like entertainment, eating out, vacations and such. Anything that’s left over should be allocated to savings, both short-term savings for emergencies and long-term savings for your children’s college educations and your retirement.
Start saving deliberately, not accidentally. This takes the first resolution a step further. Instead of saving whatever is left over after meeting the fixed and variable monthly expenses, determine that you will save a certain amount of money each month regardless, and then live on the rest.
Better yet, make a commitment to saving a certain percentage of your income every month, instead of a fixed dollar amount. This way, your savings will automatically increase as your income hopefully increases over time.For example, suppose you decide at age 35 to contribute 10 percent of your pre-tax salary of $30,000 (or $3,000 a year) into an IRA. Then let’s suppose that by age 40, your salary has risen to $40,000. By following this strategy, you would have increased your IRA contributions each time your salary rose and be contributing $4,000 a year, or $333 a month, to your IRA now.
Set your financial priorities. It's very easy for the additional income that you might earn in your 30s to be swallowed up in your growing expenses. This is a itme when you might want to indulge in a few luxuries you couldn't afford before - whether this is a nice vacation, fancy car or boat, or dinners at expensive restaurants.
However, it’s important to set financial priorities, including planning for a financially secure retirement that is closer than you might realize. One of the best ways to make consistent retirement saving a financial priority is to make your retirement contributions automatic. Arrange with your bank for a fixed amount of money to be automatically transferred from your checking account to your retirement account every month. If you contribute to a company-sponsored plan like a 401(k), you can have your contributions automatically deducted from your pay and placed in your account.
Starting in your 30s will put a system in place that will carry through for the rest of your life.
Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.
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These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.
David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.
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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website: www.davidlerner.com
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