If you want to be set up for financial success later in your life, you will need to ensure you take the proper steps during each stage of your life. During one's 30s, many people are getting established in their career path, making this a vitally important decade for your financial future. Setting yourself up for financial success requires a wide range of steps during this critical decade.
Get Rid of Non-Mortgage Debt
During your 30s, you will want to get rid of any non-mortgage debt that you are carrying. This includes debt such as credit card balances, student loans, and auto loans. When you leave your 30s, your mortgage is the only debt you should be carrying. You want to get rid of all the debt you accrued to start your adult life in your twenties. Getting rid of this debt in your 30s will allow you to focus on accumulating wealth that will sustain you for the rest of your life.
Build Your Emergency Fund
In your 20s, you should have built up an emergency fund of at least a thousand dollars. As you progress through your 30s, your emergency fund should be able to sustain you for at least three to six months. You never know when you may lose your job or when the economy will completely change, putting you out of work, which is why you should have three to six months' worth of expenses saved in your emergency fund in this stage of your life.
Save for Retirement
Next, you should be saving for retirement in your 30s. Ideally, you should have started in your 20s, but if you didn't, don't put it off any longer. If you have an employer that will match your 401(k), ensure that you are contributing enough of your paycheck so that you can earn the matching contribution. Even if your employer doesn't offer a 401(k), you should still be putting money aside for retirement into a formal retirement account. It is up to you to ensure that you are saving for retirement.
You should be contributing to retirement accounts that allow you to reduce your taxable income and save on taxes right now, such as a 401(k), and you should be contributing to retirement accounts with after-tax money, such as a Roth IRA so that you can have tax-free income during your retirement years as well.
Now is the time to start paying attention to your investments, both with your retirement account and outside of your retirement account. To ensure that you have enough money to retire on, you will want to take some risks with your investments. Your 30s, where you are more financially established but not counting on your investments to provide your income yet, are the perfect time to diversify your investments and take a few risks.
Ensure you are setting yourself up for financial success now and into the future by making the proper financial steps. Follow the advice above, and work with a financial planner to figure out how to diversify your investments and properly save for retirement. Making the right choices now will benefit your future.