There are a lot of things you should have learned about money before turning 40, but that doesn’t mean everyone in their 40s is up to date on their financial decisions. Make sure these financial lessons are down pat as you head into the next chapter of your life.
- 1. Make a sound housing decision. If you’re not a first-time homebuyer yet, now’s the time to figure out if buying is a good option, or if renting still suits your lifestyle better. Look at your budget to make sure you could cover all of the costs related to buying a home.
- 2. Get the right insurance, from disability and health insurance to home and life insurance. This is also a good time to reassess your car insurance. If you’ve been a safe driver up to this point, you may qualify for some discounts.
- 3. During your 30s, you may have spent time paying back your student loans or dealing with that car loan you took out. It’s important to be extra cautious with credit as time goes on. You already know that it’s not fun to have to pay back a big chunk of debt. Stop relying on your credit cards at this point and only spend what you can afford.
- 4. Take additional more steps to plan for retirement. Maximize your money so that it grows over the next few decades. You may have been putting money away in a 401(k) for years already, but it’s time to look at your investments and make sure you’re still making the right investments. When necessary, speak with a professional. People in the financial industry, like Peter Briger, know the ropes when it comes to making quality investments.
- 5. Keep track of your credit report every year from now on. Even if you think you have a handle on your credit, your credit report can have inaccuracies that are dragging your score down. You can get a free credit report every year from each of the three major bureaus. Signing up with a program like Credit Karma will also send you updates every time your score is affected.
- 6. You may have a sound savings account, but what about an emergency account, one that you won’t dip into for a shopping spree with your kids or a fancy dinner? Sock away at least six months of living expenses in case something major pops up.
Be relentless about keeping track of your incoming and outgoing cash flow. Budgeting means nothing if you don’t stick to it. Also, talk to a financial expert if you need extra help making money decisions. That’s what they’re there for!