Financial Goals for Each Decade of Your Life

A person’s financial goals grow and change with the individual. Your goals in your 20s aren’t usually the same as when you’re 50. We wanted to give you an overview of what some of your financial goals should be, decade by decade.

Your 20s
  • Set Up Good Habits
    Now is the time to put your financial habits in place for the rest of your life. Do yourself a favor and start saving from your very first paycheck. This also includes saving for retirement – it’s never too early to start!
  • Put Yourself First
    Your twenties are your chance to be selfish – in a good way. Before you have a family or aging parents, make yourself a main priority. This is the time to invest in yourself, whether it’s going back to school, getting a certification or work longer hours to climb the ladder.
  • Take Risks
    From taking that job in another city to making high-risk investments, now is the time to do it. You have limited obligations in your 20s, use that to your advantage and do what you can to further your career and finances.
  • Be Prepared
    It’s easy to put off creating an emergency fund, since it’s nothing you need right now. But, there’s no way of knowing when you will need it. So, start saving three to six months of your living expenses in a savings account you won’t touch unless you have to.
  • Savings Goal
    Try to have one to three times your starting salary saved by the time you hit 30.
Your 30s
  • Grow Your Retirement
    By now your career is probably chugging away nicely and you’re making more than in your 20s. If you’re making more, you should be saving more – especially in a work 401(k) or an individual retirement account (IRA). If you have an employer that matches funds in your 401(k), you definitely want to take advantage of that, it’s basically free money!
  • Reduce Debt
    Sure, it’s easy to just make the minimum payment each month on your credit card bills. But it’s also expensive. Don’t let your interest rates get the best of you. (Don’t forget that WWFCU has some of the best credit card rates) Also, be sure to pay all your bills each month, every month.  
  • Get Insured
    We’re not talking health insurance (although you hopefully have that by now!). Now is the time to make sure you’ve got the right amount of coverage in your auto, home/apartment and life insurance. Be sure to revisit your insurance as your needs change.
  • Savings Goals
    Ideally, you’ll want to be saving 10-15% of your yearly income. You should have savings that amounts to three to six times your current salary.
Your 40s
  • Plan Ahead
    Retirement is about 25 years away. How is your personal and financial health? Take care of yourself and your future. Be sure to have a living will and regular will in place by now. And if you have children, you might want to consider creating a trust account.
  • Buckle Down
    It was easier having freer spending habits in your 20s and 30s, but by now you probably have more financial responsibilities. Tweak your monthly expenses if you can. Curb going out to eat and make sure you’ve got the best mobile phone, internet and cable/streaming plans available. Cut back where you can.
  • Grow Your Wealth
    You’re approaching your prime earning years, which also means this is when you’ll want to increase your savings if possible. Take a look at your savings and investments and make sure you’ll be able to meet your future goals.
  • Savings Goals
    Think of moving some savings/investments into long-term growth assets. You should have six to ten times your current salary saved by now.
Your 50s
  • Plan for the Future
    The future will be here before you know it. Make sure you have all of your finances and assets in place to help your family. This includes your parents and children if you have them. Have open conversations with both sides of the family to see how everyone’s needs can be met. Also, college tuition should be on the near horizon if you’re not already in the middle of it. Help your kids out if you can, but make your retirement a main priority as well.
  • Think Long-Term
    Being an official “senior citizen” is about a decade away. Which is why it’s important to think about long-term care insurance. This insurance covers services that regular health insurance doesn’t cover such as getting assistance with daily activities like bathing, dressing or getting in and out of bed. Long-term care insurance also covers costs if you have a chronic medical condition, disability or disorder.
  • Adjust Retirement Savings
    Your definitely closer to retirement than ever before. Are you meeting your retirement savings goals? If not, what do you need to put in place to make that happen? You may need to tweak your savings and expenses or look at other income sources for retirement. Be sure you have 25 times what you plan to spend each year in retirement. If you’re doing all you can and you still end up short, you may need to delay retirement by a few years.
  • Savings Goals
    By the end of your 50s, you should have eight to 15 times your current salary saved.
Your 60s
  • Look Further Ahead
    There are some factors that could affect your retirement savings, such as inflation or the cost of healthcare and long-term care. Plus, you never know how long you’ll really be able to work. Until now, you’ve been guessing in best-case scenarios. Your retirement plans are coming to fruition, but they might not meet all of your plans. You may need to consider working longer or deferring your Social Security payments.
  • Picture Yourself
    It’s time to take a mental leap and picture yourself retired. What does that look like? If you’re on the cusp of retirement, you might want to first go to part-time work. Get an idea of what free time truly feels like. Do you have enough to keep you occupied and enough people to keep you engaged?
  • Review Your Estate
    Hopefully, you have a will and trust(s) in place to leave your family in a good place once you’re gone. Review your insurance to check what you have and if you still need it – or if you need more. Make sure all of your estate documents are in order and that your executor knows how to find everything. Also, do a beneficiary review to ensure the correct family and friends are listed.
  • Savings Goals
    It may be time to start withdrawing from your 401(k) or IRA. By now, you should have 10 to 25 times your current salary saved.
Your 70s+
  • Have Fun
    All of your hard work and careful saving should make it easier for you to start having a little fun. Take a hard look at your savings and retirement plan and then live your life accordingly. Spend what you intended on spending, without guilt. If you planned well, you can now relax and enjoy life!
  • Adjust When Needed
    You still want to keep an eye on your retirement savings and plan and adjust when needed. Double check that you’re not underestimating your life expectancy. Keep track of your spending to determine if your investments are aligned. Keep your withdrawal rate at about 5-6% and you should be fine.
  • Plan Your Legacy
    Your finances are in place, but what else are you leaving behind when you go? It may be time to give your time or some money to a charity – which also has its tax benefits. Spend time with family and do what you can to ensure their security. Giving back at this time of life can reduce the chance that you’ll feel isolated or depressed.
  • Savings Goals
    If you’re in your 70s, your saving days are done. You’ll want to think more about income and withdrawal rates more than saving.
Moving Towards Your Financial Success!
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