No matter what stage of life you are in right now, there are smart financial moves you can and should be making to improve your financial situation. Not making these moves doesn’t necessarily mean your financial outlook is bleak but it can make it much more difficult.
What advice to you have for those just starting out in life?
Develop good money habits that help you to not overspend. This includes learning to comparison shop on all of your purchases and learning how to avoid impulse purchases. Many people starting out often overspend and end up with a huge amount of debt that makes it difficult for them to manage especially if they also have student loans.
Are there smart moves for newlyweds to consider?
This is the time that short and long term planning should become part of their life. This planning will help them define priorities for savings, make decisions on where to live and how much debt makes sense for their financial situation. This is also the time to commitment to save for retirement. Starting early makes a huge impact in the future.
How can new parents be smart with their money moves?
First is understating that a new child is going to increase the cost of almost every expense from groceries to going out on an adult only date. This means new parents need to trim expenses slightly and if they want to start saving for college, a further expense reduction might be in order. The biggest mistake is to start funding college and decrease retirement contributions.
For people who have become empty nesters, what are the moves to be making?
This is when the focus needs to be completely on retirement. It starts with working on lowering all non-mortgage debt, meeting all contribution limits for retirement savings and building up the Health Savings Account and not using it for current medical expenses. These moves will be huge dividends in retirement.
What moves should those in retirement consider making?
It all starts with using essential money habits that they hopefully started their adult life with including comparison shopping, avoiding debt, and living a budget. Life expectancy continues to increase and retirees can ill afford to make poor financial decisions. It is also important to live a healthy and active lifestyle because medical expenses are often a big drain on resources in retirement.
Are there any financial moves that transcend across all life stages?
Estate planning is a financial move that requires attention in every life stage. This involves creating and updating wills, beneficiary designations, healthcare and financial power of attorney and a living will. These are all important documents should you ever become unable to act on your own behalf. Unfortunately, you can’t set these up and forget about them. Each stage of life will require changes and updates.