“Life begins at 40”, said a very wise person who, in a bid to chide us on the hassle and challenges that arise at about that age, conveniently forgot about the importance of preparation. Why we know to save early why we are told to invest and make feasible plans. Life doesn’t begin at forty, it prepares us for forty and these financial goals will make sure you’re up and ready by the time that number comes knocking.
Pay off your debt
Almost everyone is guilty of doing the tango with loans. Be it for school, car or credit card purposes, we can all attest to the initial lure of seemingly free money and the haunting chore of subsequent payments that last for years. Paying off all of that debt is one of the most important financial goals to hit before turning 40, not just the stipulated monthly payments but, as much as your budget can allow. At that point in your life, your worries should be directed at investments and retirement not possible credit score fluctuations. Let’s leave that to the college students shall we? On the off side, doing this would definitely help if and when you decide to take a mortgage on a house.
Start a Retirement Account
Let’s be frank, the thought of retirement brings the chills. No one wants to foreshadow to the time when they become old and wrinkled, but that’s not entirely what retirement is about. It the beginning of a new stage of life where you get to relax and enjoy the fruit of all those years hard work. Opening a 401k account and doing the 50-50 match up, if your employer has it, is a good way to start. By all means do not pass up this kind of free money. IRA’s are also available for those whose employers do not provide 401k’s. The truth is, not thinking about retirement and failing to plan for it would probably result in additional stress at the type when you need to be “chilling.” Now that’s what’s likely to get you old and wrinkled.
Buy a house
This goes without saying but by 40, not only should you be out of your parent’s house you should also, be very well be considering moving out of that apartment. Aside the fact that rented spaces are not as cheap as they seem, chances that you will get a home loan after 40 are slim for the mere fact that your wage earning days are nearing an end and that you’ll be around 70 when the last payment is made. Why subject seventy year old you to the hassle of monthly mortgage payments when 40 to 50 year old you can take care of that.
Create an emergency savings fund
Donald Rumsfeld couldn’t have been more right when he said “stuff happens,” because indeed they do and as you get get significantly older, you would realise that they happen to come in folds. People get laid off, natural disasters happen. Creating an emergency fund for at least 6 to 12 months of living expenses would ensure you’re not in the dust should anything unfortunate happen. One can never really tell how long it will take to bounce back.
If you’ve done all the afore mentioned, please do not forget to plan. The adage “failing to plan is planning to fail” couldn’t be more truer. As you get ready to settle into and enjoy your forties it is imperative that you set down long and short term goals just so you are fully aware and in control of the direction your life will go in the nearest future. Didn’t someone recently just say, “life begins at 50”?