As you enter your forties, you will be adding a few more financial responsibilities and starting to feel like a real “grown-up” if you don’t already. By now, you probably will have settled in to a career that you enjoy and are making a decent income.
Some of the financial matters one may be considering at this point in time may include:
A mortgage or savings for a down payment
You may have your sights set on purchasing a home so saving for a down payment may be top of mind. Preparing a budget so that funds are being put away on a regular basis would help one save for this.
If you have already purchased a home, paying down the mortgage is more top of mind. Paying extra each month or an extra payment each year can help decrease the principal amount due quicker.
Also checking on your interest rate should rates decline so you know if you should refinance is critical. Refinancing can be expensive but if the reduction in the interest rate is large enough, it’s worthwhile.
Saving for college tuition
At this point, you probably have already started a family and with the increasing cost of secondary education it’s a good time to be thinking of saving for college.
There are a few good options such as the 529 Plan and the Coverdell Education Savings Plan. These allow you to save money that will grow tax-deferred and can be used for your children’s higher education expenses when the time comes.
Retirement
The average retirement age is between 62-66 so you could possibly be leaving the work force in about 20 years. The big question is…. Will you have enough money to live on if you stop working? Hopefully you have started growing a nest egg by now but if you have not you need to start very soon.
Most companies that provide a 401(k) plan have a matching contribution. It’s really important to be contributing at least as much as the company will match. The matching funds are free money that you cannot afford to leave on the table.
If possible, contributing to an IRA in addition to your 401(k) is ideal.
Lastly, at this point it’s a good idea to check the Social Security website to see what your benefits might be and if they are being calculated correctly. The website www.ssa.gov and is a handy resource.
Life Insurance
Insurance at this stage of life is normally used as an income replacement if the primary income earner were to pass away.
For example, let’s say you’re married with 2 children and you have a mortgage. If one spouse earns more than the other spouse and something were to happen to higher earner, the spouse who earns less would be left with covering all the expenses.
Life insurance can provide a lump sum that the surviving spouse could use to cover expenses. There are different types of insurance so best to speak to a WealthJar advisor on this topic.