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What Your Age Means To Your Money - Financial Steps From Your 20s to Your 60s
Age is more than just a number when it comes to financial planning. Starting early can help give you a leg up on a comfortable retirement. This is particularly important for women because we live longer than men, are more likely to require long-term care services, and take more time out of the work force to care for children and family members. These financial realities make it even more important for us to start saving early, to save more as we earn more, and to plan carefully for those “time-out” periods.
In Your 20s
Set Financial Goals. Identify what you want, when you want it, and what it will take to achieve it. Write down your goals so you have something to refer back to as you plan. Live On a Budget. Start by writing down your monthly income, track and total how much you are spending monthly, and determine your debt-repayment obligations (i.e., credit card, student loans). After calculating your monthly expenditures, subtract that from your total monthly income. Allocate the amount you have left over toward savings.
Make Saving Automatic. Consider setting up an automatic transfer from your primary bank account to a dedicated savings account each month. Also, enroll in your employer’s retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, and take advantage of matching contributions, if available.
In Your 30s
Set Up An Emergency Fund. Save and set aside enough cash to cover at least a minimum of 3, and ideally 6, months of living expenses in case of disability, unemployment or an unforeseen event. Seek Out Professionals. Identify a team of professionals (i.e., financial advisor, accountant, attorney) that you feel comfortable working with. Ask friends and family for referrals and interview potential advisors. Define Your Investment Strategy. Work with your financial advisor to develop a target asset allocation for your
In Your 40s
Cover Yourself. Health, life, disability or long-term and property insurance typically includes auto and homeowner’s. Learn about your insurance options and determine the type and amount of coverage that makes sense for you and your family. Protect Your Legacy. Even if you if don’t have children or consider your assets significant enough, still think about executing a will, living will, power of attorney and health care proxy to outline your wishes in the event that you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Maximize Contributions. With your earnings at its peak, now is the time to boost your savings. Contribute the maximum amount to your retirement plan.
In Your 50s
Re-balance Your Portfolio. Review your investment portfolio and make any adjustments to accommodate different cash-flow needs and changes in income and living expenses. Catch Up on Retirement Savings. At age 50, you become eligible to make
“catch-up” or extra, contributions to your IRA and 401(k) plan, or similar retirement plan. Review Your Coverage. Regularly review your life and disability insurance coverage, which generally should replace enough of your income so that your family’s
current and future needs are met.
In Your 60s
Benefit from Social Security. At age 62, you’re eligible to start receiving Social Security. However, your benefits could be reduced by as much as 30% if you opt to get Social Security before your Normal Retirement Age. Get Back to Budgeting Basics.
Practice good basic budgeting by tracking your money and spending wisely. Update Estate Plans. Review your beneficiary designations on qualified plans, IRAs and life insurance policies. Consult with your financial, legal and tax advisors to make sure your estate plans are up-to-date. Having a financial plan is an important step but you need to review it regularly to make adjustments as life transitions occur. Speak with a financial advisor or visit womenandco.com to access a suite of financial education resources and a vibrant community of financially minded women.
Having a financial plan is an important step but you need to review it regularly to make adjustments as life transitions occur. Speak with a financial advisor or visit womenandco.com to access a suite of financial education resources and a vibrant community of financially minded women.
About Women & Co. Where wisdom, wealth and women meet.
Women & Co. is a financial resource program from Citi, dedicated to helping women achieve their financial goals. Women & Co. provides members with education on a vast array of financial and investing topics, which members access through womenandco.com. By accessing the site, members can read newsletters, listen to audio conferences, and find out about Master Class seminars in major metropolitan areas. For more information, visit www.womenandco.com