It should come as no surprise that different life stages require different financial considerations. As the next installment of this “Money Moves” series (be sure to check out 5 Financial Moves to Make in Your 20s and 5 Financial Moves to Make in Your 30s!) I'll cover money moves to make in your 40s. Here are five top important financial considerations to make:
1. Reevaluate Your Lifestyle Expenses
By the time you're in your 40s and are settled into a career, you've become accustomed to the expenses that come along with being a full-blown adult. With student loans a thing of the past, you’re probably feeling quite comfortable. While in theory, you may be able to afford to travel more often, drive a nice car, and treat yourself to brand-name goods, you are also chipping away from your retirement with this type of spending. No one is saying you need to make drastic cutbacks, but consider toning down your lifestyle a bit in the interest of putting more money towards your retirement, so you can really enjoy life once you reach that stage.
2. Hone In On Paying Off Debt
How great would it be to be able to retire debt-free? While retiring mortgage-free is the goal of many, it makes more sense to focus on other debts first. For example, credit cards, personal loans, and auto loans all tend to have higher interest rates than mortgages. Consider focusing on paying the higher interest debts first, and then using any leftover money to help you determine whether to refinance to a shorter-term mortgage or simply making extra payments towards your existing mortgage. Just be sure to check whether there are any prepayment penalties!
3. Ensure You are Adequately Insured
No one wants to face it, but the truth is the older we get, the higher risk we are at for health complications. While you hopefully won’t be facing any serious health issues yet, now is the time to start considering long-term care insurance, as premiums only get more expensive as you age. Now is also the time to consider taking out a life insurance policy if you haven’t already, since premiums for these also tend to skyrocket once you hit your 50s. This will help ensure your loved ones won’t suffer financially if anything happens to you.
4. Ask for a Raise
If you’ve proven yourself to be an asset to your company, don’t put off asking for a raise or promotion. Make sure to do your research beforehand to determine whether you are being adequately compensated and what your role is worth. Try to avoid lifestyle inflation and instead consider using this extra income to pay down debt and to ramp up your retirement contributions. If you are denied a raise and there is no room for a promotion, you may want to consider looking for a new job or even picking up a side hustle.
5. Meet with a Financial Planner
Now that you have more assets (and expenses), you want to ensure you are still on track to achieve all your financial goals. Meeting with a financial planner can help you get organized and ensure that your money is working for you. Now is a good time to do this because you still have enough time for investments to be effective and to make up for any financial goals you may be behind on.
As always, everyone’s personal circumstances and life stages look different. You know better than anyone what your needs are and what you want your future to look like. As such, these are merely guidelines, but nevertheless it is important to check in with yourself and evaluate your financial wellbeing at this time in your life. Be sure to stay tuned for “5 Financial Moves to Make in Your 50s”!
Dr. Victoria Bateman, an esteemed economist best known for her nude protests for gender equality, uses her body as a form of art that serves to challenge the stigma around women's bodies and women's rights, in the world of economics. In March 2018, Bateman attended the annual conference of the Royal Economic Society in Brighton stark naked with the word "respect" written across her chest and stomach. Unbashful in delivering her message, Bateman was determined to start a conversation.