It’s no secret that financial priorities will shift throughout your lifetime. As you change careers, build a family, and take on new hobbies, your financial plan will need to adapt to support. But the one constant is the need to continuously set new financial goals.
Whether you’re stepping off the stage at college graduation or you’ve spent three decades behind the same desk, here are some essential financial goals for every life stage.
Early Career Years
The early working years are when most people get their first taste of money management. This is prime time for people to set goals that help them become more financially literate and learn the ropes of how to deal with money as an adult.
Those in the early career stage might consider goals like:
- Understand how to create and live by a budget
- Create an emergency savings fund that holds 3-6 months of living expenses
- Set short-term savings goals, like buying a first home or paying off student loan debt
- Set long-term savings goals, like retiring early or paying off a mortgage
- Open retirement savings accounts through work or independently
- Think about protecting your financial future using life insurance
Family Building and Mid-Career
During your 30s and 40s, you may grow your career as well as your personal life. That means your financial goals now might need to consider the other people in your life who rely on you financially, whether that’s a spouse, children, or aging parents.
Consider the following financial goals during this time:
- Create a will
- Lock in a term life insurance policy to cover family income replacement needs
- Max out retirement accounts
- Re-visit existing short and long-term goals and re-work according to major life changes
- Open an account to begin saving for children’s education or future expenses
Late Career and Pre-Retirement
During your 50s and 60s, you’re likely to be earning more money and setting your sights on what comes after you leave full-time employment. This is a perfect time to ensure your retirement savings goals are on track.
Your goals for this stage of life may include:
- Meet with a financial advisor to make sure retirement goals are on track
- Decide on your retirement withdrawal strategy
- Reevaluate your investment strategy to ensure it’s aligned with your retirement timeline
- Determine how you’ll pay for health care in retirement using Medicare and other resources
The retirement years are full of opportunity, but many people live on a fixed income that limits what they’re able to do. However, if you’ve been planning all along, you likely know exactly how much money you’ll have each month and where it will come from. Now is the time to execute the plan and set yourself up for financial success during the remaining years of your life.
Retirement financial goals may include:
- Set up an end-of-life plan that outlines where financial assets will go as well as your desires for end-of-life medical care
- Decide what charitable organizations to include in your will
- Enjoy your retirement lifestyle, spend time with loved ones, and relax. You’ve earned it!
The Bottom Line
You’re never too young or too old to have financial goals. As you age and responsibilities shift, so too will the goals. That’s why it’s critical to re-assess your financial situation and goals at each new stage of life. And never be afraid to pull in a financial professional to help if you’re not sure where to go next.