From Savvy Saver to Loving Legacy: The Important Ages in Your Financial Life
Understanding the important stages in your financial life is essential for anyone who wants to make smart financial decisions and achieve your long-term goals.
By knowing what to expect at each stage of life, you can prepare for unexpected expenses, plan for retirement, and leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones.
Whether you're a Savvy Saver just starting out or a Loving Legacy individual enjoying retirement, this article will provide valuable insights into the key financial milestones to keep in mind throughout your journey.
Where are you on your financial journey?
Wherever you are on your journey, it's important to understand that different ages and stages of life bring different financial challenges and opportunities.
Over the years, I’ve developed a few key terms to help describe the various stages:
- Savvy Savers
- Ready to Retire
- Loving Legacy
We'll also discuss how major life events, or "Life Quakes," can impact a person's financial journey at any point along the way.
Savvy Savers (Under 50 Years Old)
The first important stage in a person's financial life is when they're a Savvy Saver, typically under 50 years old. At this stage, you are likely focused on building your career, starting your family, and accumulating wealth.
“Savvy Savers: this is the time to establish good financial habits and make smart investment decisions that will benefit YOU in the long term.” – Danette Lowe
One of the most important things Savvy Savers can do is establish an “Adventure Fund” to protect yourselves from unexpected expenses. This should be at least 3 to 6 months' worth of living expenses, ideally in a separate savings account or money market fund that's easily accessible.
Start Saving Early
Another important step for Savvy Savers is to start saving for retirement as early as possible. Contributing to a 401(k) or other retirement account can provide significant tax benefits and compound interest over time. Even small contributions can add up over the years, and the earlier you start, the more time your investments have to grow.
Payoff High-Interest Credit Cards
In addition to retirement savings, Savvy Savers should also focus on paying off any high-interest debt, such as credit card balances or personal loans. This can free up more money for savings and investments down the road.
Ready to Retire (50-65 Years Old)
The next important stage in a your financial life is when you’re getting close to retirement, typically between 50 and 65 years old. At this stage, you are likely starting to think more seriously about your retirement plans and how much income your savings may generate.
Seek Out Professional Advice
This is the stage where most people initiate a relationship with a financial advisor if they haven’t already done so.
Make Catch Up Contributions
Late to the game? One of the most important things you can do as you get “Ready to Retire” is to take advantage of catch-up contributions to retirement accounts. If you’re 50 or over, the IRS allows higher contribution limits to 401(k) plans, IRAs, and other retirement accounts.
In a recent episode on the Ready to Retire! YouTube channel we discuss the Secure Act 2.0 and how it continues to support savings to retirement accounts.
Finish Paying Off Debt
Ready to Retire individuals should also consider their debt levels and whether they'll be able to pay off any outstanding balances before they retire.
Review Insurance Policies
They should also review their insurance policies to ensure they have adequate coverage for any potential health issues or other emergencies that could arise in retirement.
Develop a Retirement Income Plan
Finally, Ready to Retire individuals should begin to develop a retirement income plan. This may include drawing down retirement accounts, tapping into Social Security benefits, or generating income from other sources such as rental properties or investments. At TruNorth Wealth Management, we can help you create a personalized plan that takes into account your individual goals and circumstances.
Loving Legacy (65 Years Old and Up)
The third major stage in your financial journey occurs after you’ve been retired for a while and are comfortably enjoying the effort you put into preparing for this time in your life.
Important considerations for Loving Legacy individuals are:
Estate Planning – Wills & Trusts
Executing your estate planning objectives – Are your planning documents up to date? If it’s been more than 3 years since they were last updated, you might want to consider revisiting them.
Double check your Beneficiaries
Do this at LEAST every 3 years – Many assets, like IRA’s and Annuities, have beneficiaries and that will determine what happens to the funds in those accounts, regardless of what your will or trust might indicate.
Enjoy Your Retirement!
Mom advice: Stay active and social – people who thrive in the later stages of life have an active social calendar and surround themselves with people of various viewpoints. Vary your daily routine and try new things! Most of all – ENJOY LIFE!
Life Quakes at any age
At any point along your journey, a major life event or "Life Quake" can disrupt even the most well-laid financial plans. These events can include the death of a family member, divorce, loss of a job, or
unexpected medical expenses.
You don’t have to face it alone!
When a Life Quake occurs, it's important to re-evaluate financial priorities and make adjustments as needed. This may mean cutting back on expenses, tapping into emergency savings, or seeking professional advice from a financial planner.
It’s Never Too Late to Start
Remember, no matter where you are in your retirement planning journey, it's never too late to start. By understanding the important stages in your financial life, you can make informed decisions and achieve your retirement dreams. If you have any questions please email me @ [email protected] or Schedule a Consultation Here. Until next time, keep planning and keep dreaming of your best retirement!