From marriage to mortgage to baby carriage, your thirties are a decade filled with many life changes. A solid financial foundation can help you feel less overwhelmed, so that you are able to mark these events with more joy than anxiety. Below are six financial considerations:
Whether you've already walked down the aisle or are just about to make that trip, get on the same page as your spouse regarding your financial house. It's a good idea to talk about your monthly budget, your short- and long-term goals, and what types of decisions should be made jointly, such as large purchases over a certain dollar amount. Having this discussion at the beginning of your marriage can prevent many financial and emotional headaches that come from having separate or competing financial plans.
With regard to raising children, it's often said that the days are long but the years are short. So while your own children could be very young, or perhaps simply a twinkle in your eye, it's never too early to begin making room for them – in your pocketbooks. With the cost of college continuing to increase, ask yourself how you'd like to contribute to their education. Do you envision yourself paying for the entire cost, or just a portion? Working with a financial advisor can help you understand how saving for education may impact your other savings goals.
In this busy decade, look for ways to take the work out of saving. With systematic investing, you can have a set amount electronically transferred each month to savings, investments or your retirement plan. Investing a fixed dollar amount at regular intervals is an approach called dollar cost averaging*, which enables you to buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. By investing on a set schedule, you'll also develop discipline that can help you be a better long-term investor.
Are you still paying off student loans? Or credit card debt? This is the decade to tackle any outstanding debts. In addition, focus on preparing for your future, whether that's saving for your children's education, saving for retirement, or both.
As you begin accumulating savings, it's important to protect them and the people you care for should anything happen to you. Begin by examining your life insurance options and considering working with your attorney to discuss creating a will as well as your wishes for future medical care. This way, you can make your own decisions now, instead of someone else having to make them for you later.
Time is a very valuable asset. The earlier you start determining your goals and then preparing to reach them, the more time you'll have to enjoy your plans.
Call a financial advisor if you'd like to discuss how to help make sure this decade is a productive one for you financially.
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*Dollar cost averaging does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
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