Create the financial future you want
Whether you're planning for college or just starting out in your career, money - how to make it, how to spend it and how to save it - will play an important role in your life.
While finances are not always an easy topic to approach, we offer guidance and resources to help you learn to manage your money at every life state.
Here are some age-based milestones to help guide you down the right path throughout your life's journey:
Ages 18 - 23
- If you need immediate college-funding sources, our guide to Finding money for college - right now may help.
- Having a plan in place before you leave for college will help you focus on settling in and enjoying everything that undergrad life has to offer, check out Finance 101.
- Investors today are faced with ever-changing market conditions, an often-overwhelming amount of information from the media and an increasing number of investment choices. It's not surprising that the world of investing can seem complex. To help, access Principles of successful investing.
- Being in your early 20s is an exciting time of life. The world is yours for the taking as you begin this next chapter of independence - a budding career and creating a home of your own. The choices you make now as you establish your professional and personal lifestyles will lay the foundation for your future financial success, which means getting started on the right foot is crucial. Financial management for 20-somethings is for you.
- Strive to save 10% of your salary in your company’s retirement plan or IRA—or at the least, meet the company match.
- Build an emergency fund of at least six months of your living expenses.
- Take advantage of a health savings account to fund health-care expenses.
- Home ownership builds wealth, so when buying a home, no more than 30% of your monthly income should go toward your mortgage.
- Share your short-term and long-term financial goals with your life partner.
- Start saving for your child’s, or future children’s, educational expenses through a 529 savings plan.
- As you reach your peak income, maximize your savings. Raise your contributions to your retirement plan and stash extra cash when possible.
- Protect your most valuable asset: your earning power. Disability insurance is especially important when in your 40s.
- Make an estate plan. Establish a will, power of attorney, revocable trust and health-care directives.