Although everyone’s life is different, there are some common money management  themes that are particularly helpful at certain stages of life. This guide can help focus you on the right habits and goals in those different stages. Not every suggestion here will apply to you, but many will. The important thing is to be thoughtful about your money and to plan ahead.

20s

  • Make sure you are taking full advantage of the savings benefits available to you through your employer: 401(k) or 403 (b), et cetera. Saving a small amount of money right now for retirement will put you way ahead than those who only start saving for retirement seriously in their 30s.
  • If you can, buy a home, or at least start saving for the down payment.
  • Make sure you have adequate insurance coverage (home or renter’s, auto, health). Consider disability and life insurance if other people are depending on your income.
  • Establish credit and maintain a good payment record to establish a good credit score. Ideally, do not charge more to a credit card than you can pay off in a month.
  • Set up an emergency savings fund of at least 3 months’ living expenses. Keep this money as accessible as possible.
  • Start learning about investing and establish an automatic savings program to reach your financial goals.

30s

  • Write a will or review the one you have.
  • Review your insurance coverage considering changes in your family situation, increasing assets, or professional activities.
  • If you have children, begin saving for their education.
  • Set up personal and employer-sponsored retirement savings accordingly.
  • Continue to keep credit under control and avoid paying finance charges and annual fees.

40s

  • As your income grows, look for investments and savings plans that shelter some of it from taxes.
  • Set up personal and employer-sponsored retirement savings accordingly.
  • Review your investment allocation and make sure you are still well diversified.
  • See a financial planner to figure out exactly how much you’ll need to have saved to maintain your lifestyle in retirement.

50s

  • Maximize your savings for retirement.
  • Make sure your growing assets are protected by liability insurance.
  • Review your will and estate plan.
  • Pay off your debts. Depending on the going rates for different types of investments, it may or may not be wise to pay off your mortgage now.

60s

  • Maintain your health insurance and consider long-term-care insurance.
  • As your near retirement, switch a portion of your investments to low-risk types to produce income rather than higher-risk growth.
  • With life expectancy increasing, make sure a portion of your retirement nest egg is invested so that it continues to outpace inflation.
  • Remain wary of scams aimed at seniors.

Source: Broadridge Financial Solutions, accessed August 2, 2019.