Your 20s and 30s are vital times for focusing on money strategies and building financial security for your future. In these years, you need to earn a lot, you need to live a lot, you need to save a lot, and you have to spend a lot. And, in the middle of it all, in the middle of the excitement and rush of these two decades, individuals may forget to give priority to what’s coming in the future – retirement.
Having adequate money when you retire is essential for a happy life as you grow older. To be precise, the quality of your retirement years will depend on the way you have managed your money and saved throughout your adulthood.
Plan for Retirement When Young
If you believe that you can save for and think about retirement once you are nearing your 50s or 60s, then you are mistaken. In fact, to live an enjoyable, financially secure life in your golden years, you need to act now, set proper financial goals, and establish money-saving strategies when you are still in your 20s and 30s.
If you ask financial advisors and other money professionals when is the exact time to start building financial security, the answer will always be "as soon as possible."
According to financial writer Andy Masaki, the following money strategies are among the key priorities for your 20s and 30s to help secure a future of financial wellbeing.
Understand and Set Goals for Your Net Worth
Your personal net worth is defined by what you own (your assets) and what you owe (your liabilities). When you take your assets minus your liabilities, it paints a picture of your current financial situation, as well as serves as a compass for setting and achieving your financial goals.
As you continue to build your career, earn money and save during adulthood, your net worth should grow. At the same time, to maximize net worth, you need to minimize unnecessary expenditures and reduce debt.
Ongoing monitoring of your personal net worth will help you determine your progress towards your retirement savings goals.
Try to Clear Unsecured Debts in Your 20s
Unsecured debts are mostly comprised of your credit card debts, payday loan debts, uncollateralized personal loans, and anything else that has no asset property involved. These debts eat up your net worth to a great extent and, in general, carry very high interest rates.
Mr. Masaki advises to make it a mission to destroy these debts before you enter your 30s.
"You might argue that the 20s is a time to have optimum fun and entertainment. Well, definitely it is," Mr. Masaki said. "Still, you should know when to hold the finance rope tight. Don’t let impulsive spending habits take you on its toll."
Research studies indicate that credit card debt is the leading source of debt for adults between the ages of 25 to 34. Credit cards and mobile-device payment apps make it easy to spend and quickly rack up large amounts of debt in a small period of time. Therefore, it is important to be thoughtful about credit card spending and aggressive at clearing debt to minmize obstacles to buiding financial security for retirement.
To tackle credit card debt yourself on multiple cards, a credit card consolidation strategy may be an option. The purpose of consolidating card debt is to help you manage your debt more easily and effectively. With this method, you transfer all your balances from existing credit cards to a new, lower-interest credit card with a limit equivalent to the sum total of your present credit card debt.
By doing this, you can close your existing cards and have only one card to pay off and manage. With a lower interest rate on the one card, you will save money. To learn more about this money strategy, click here: consolidating credit card debt.
Consider Investing Money as You Enter Your 30s
Having all of your money tied up in a checking account or low-interest savings account may not help you accummulate wealth over time. In fact, if your interest rate is lower than the rate of inflation, your money may be worth less over time.
Therefore, evaluate a mix of investment options for the long term that offer the potential to increase your money's value at a risk tolerance you can accept. Ways to allocate your money include retirement accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, stocks, bonds, mutual funds and more.
Seeking the counsel of a certified financial advisor can be beneficial to help you define wealth goals over a period of time, determine money strategies, and build a portfolio with an appropriate mix of investment options. Also, there are many online tools that can help indviduals do their own investing and portfolio management.
When you are in your 20s and 30s, it is key to deploy money strategies that include debt reduction, increased earning, savings and thoughtful investing to help ensure a financially strong retirement. And, be sure to enjoy life along the way.