A Quick Recap
Hey-O! Welcome, welcome, welcome! I’m so glad you’re here!
Thank you to Kelly and She’s A Full on Monet Blog for having me back to continue my series on How To build your financial life, like a dream home. We’re going to be adding on your roof, so hang tight because just like George Jefferson, you are movin’ on up!
Let’s review what we’ve covered so far….
Money In Your 20’s – The Foundation
In your early adult years you should be focusing on the foundation of your house, shoring up against any threat to your hard earned savings for years to come. Those foundation components are:
1. An Emergency Fund: Financial Industry guidelines suggest that you need to have 6 months worth of expenses in a savings account. Just in case. This makes sure that you don’t panic if you’re furloughed, get sick, can’t work, or just maybe an international pandemic?
2. A Will: You might feel that you’re too young for this one, but its never too early to write down your wishes if, God forbid, something unexpected happens to you.
3. Disability Insurance: You’re in luck! This one is easy. Usually, your job will have this as part of their employee benefits program. I’d elect as much as you can afford on this one. Trust me. You’ll thank me later. Important note! If you grab this benefit through work, it cannot travel with you. Meaning that if you leave your job, you will have to get a new policy through your new job, or apply for a personal policy.
4. Life Insurance: This is an easy one too in that you can usually get more life insurance through your employer. I would purchase as much as you’re allowed. Because, a) probably limited or no health screening, and b) it will be inexpensive. But just like DI, if you buy through work, it will not go with you if you change jobs. You’ll need to get a new policy through your new employer or get a personal policy. Hot tip! I’d buy a personal policy as soon as you can.
Don’t have these checked off your list? No problem, chica! You can catch up and get those checked off your list asap, so you don’t miss a beat.
Money in Your 30’s – The Framework
In your 30’s, we are building your framework. That consists of College Education Strategies, Retirement Strategies and Tax strategies.
If I quickly recap…
College Strategies – Will you send your child to college? What costs should I expect? How much of total college costs do I want to pay? What can I afford to save?
Retirement Strategies – do you participate in your company’s 401k plan? If so, you should defer at least enough to get your employer’s whole match.
Taxes – Even the Beatles wrote a song about how terrible the “Tax Man” is. While taxes are a part of our financial lives, unfortunately, we do need to have a plan just for them.
Whew! That was a lot. But if you love checklists like I do, then we’ve successfully crossed quite a few things off. And that should make you feel amazing!
And don’t worry, Sis, if you don’t have these things marked off just yet. Play some catch up and go back to see where you can get some s$#t done.
Money In Your 40’s – The Roof
I keep hearing that 40 is the new 30. Can someone confirm that for my knees?? Cause those gals feel like they’re 90!
In keeping with our dream home build, we’ve now started to construct our roof. To finish it off, we need to work on asset allocation and investment strategies.
Asset allocation. Say what?!?! I’m sure you’ve heard this term before, but do you actually know what it means? In its simplest form, asset allocation refers to the strategy of dividing your investments among different asset categories, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, and cash alternatives. The idea here is that you’re reducing your overall risk, and or market ups and downs, by lessening your exposure to any one investment, at any give time.
Ever heard the term Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket? This holds true for investing, as well as, life in general.
My mom used to work for a large investment firm for many years. She would always brag that all of their clients were very well diversified. They had a broad range of investments between “large cap,” “mid cap,” and so on. That all sounds great, but there is a huge issue here. It took me about 5 years to convince her. No matter how diversified you are with your investments, make no mistake, you are NOT truly diversified. Why? Because all of your funds are still in the market. So, to be truly diversified means having investments and savings inside the markets and outside the markets. What investments can you make outside the markets? How about real estate? Or life insurance? Or a business? Most of us in our 40’s remember The Great Recession of 2008. If you do, you’ll know not to put all those eggs in the one basket, for sure.
Next in the roof are Investment Strategies. Now, if you’ve read the previous two posts, you’re probably asking, “What are you talking about Connor? You’ve already talked about investing. Right??” Well, kinda… In your 30’s I discussed taking advantage of your company’s retirement plan, which does involve investment choices. But in your 40’s we’re really getting into the thick of it. These choices refer to any assets that you are saving outside of qualified accounts, 401k plans for example.
All of my online business friends are always talking about imposter syndrome, and not to compare ourselves to what everyone else is doing. So, in essence, stay in your own lane. However, with your investment strategies, I want them to have a little imposter syndrome. You need to compare your investment choices in your retirement plans to the choices you are making for these outside investments. Get very intentional with your picks. Don’t duplicate! That is the road to failure.
You should also evaluate your Risk Tolerance. I define risk tolerance as how many ups-and-downs can you take in the stock market without throwing up. If your stress levels cannot take the volatility, then choose a more moderate to conservative investment portfolio. If your outlook on life is Balls to the Wall, then you should consider aggressive portfolios.
The financial world can be daunting. Trust me, I know it’s not a subject that’s always user-friendly, accessible, or directed particularly to women.
BUT, and it’s a pretty important BUT, if you’re ready to take charge of your personal finances, congratulations! There is nothing more empowering than understanding how money works, and more specifically, how it can work FOR YOU.
I hope to see you for my final installment of our 4 part money series, Money In Your 50’s. In the meantime, as my Pappaw used to say, “Don’t take any wooden nickels.”
If you have any questions, please send me a message at email@example.com, visit our website, or listen to the podcast.