Your 30s are some of your greatest years. Research even suggests that 35 is “the best age” and happiness really starts when you reach 33. There’s more to being a 30-something than meets the eye. Embrace this decade and conquer the following:
Boost your financial savvy
When it comes to taking the 30s by storm, one of the best choices you can make is to focus on smart financial planning. If you faced financial challenges in your 20s, your 30s offer the perfect opportunity to turn things around and make significant strides toward saving for your future.
Recent research found that Americans today are falling short on what the average American should be saving. The recommended amount to save is about 15 percent of your annual income beginning in your 20s. And, it adds up. For example, if you’re single, 35 years old and making an annual salary of $75,000, you should have roughly $110,000 saved at this point in your career. If you’re behind on saving, you may want to increase that annual percentage to at least 20 percent.
If you’ve been successfully saving since your 20s, your 30s are a prime time to think about investing some of your savings. Since cash loses value over time, having a single savings account with your bank may not be nearly as effective as the potential returns you may experience from investing in the stock market (although it does have greater risk). You can control your investment risk, however – using a variety of investment strategies. It just depends on what you are most comfortable with.
Want to explore investing? The standard rule of thumb is make sure you have between six to 12 months of living expenses in a separate savings account for emergencies before dabbling in the market. It’s also worth consulting a reputable financial adviser for guidance.
Adjust your insurance coverage
Being financially prepared as a 30-something also means selecting the right insurance policies to protect yourself and your assets. Getting the best coverage is not the same for everyone – it depends on individual financial situations and lifestyles. Some types of insurance to think about:
- Term Life Insurance: No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s important to think about your future. Term life insurance is of particular interest for those aged 30 or older, since this is when many milestones occur. From getting married to having a baby or growing your family, you’re likely to have people that depend on you financially. Life insurance will help support them should anything happen to you.
- Homeowners insurance: Unlike driving a car, you can legally own a home without homeowners insurance. However, there are plenty of good reasons to have it. If you have a mortgage, your lender may require you to have homeowners insurance to protect from any unforeseen damages to the house. A standard homeowners policy (known as an HO-3 policy) protects against fires, fallen trees, hail and theft, but not floods or earthquakes – those events require additional coverage. The amount of coverage you’ll need depends on your location and the size of your home. To help determine this amount, try this coverage calculator.
- Renters insurance: If you’re renting, you may want to consider renters insurance, which is generally low cost and protects your belongings from a storm, leak, fire or burglary. Similar to homeowners insurance, it does not protect against hurricanes, floods or earthquakes. While your landlord’s insurance policy typically covers the building structure itself, renters insurance covers: the items you keep at your place, additional living expenses if you must temporarily move due to damages and even partial medical payments if a guest is injured at your home. However, it does exclude unique valuables like a baseball card collection, jewelry or fine china. Make sure you read the fine print to understand what exactly it covers.
- Long-Term Disability Income Insurance: This type of insurance replaces a part of your earnings during a lengthy period of time where you’re unable to work because of illness or injury. Employer provided plans typically cover around 60% of your income if you’re unable to work due to sickness or injury, so it’s important to look into exactly how much coverage you have and determine if you’re potentially in need of more. For more details on long-term disability income insurance, check out our previous blog post.
Set aspiring yet realistic goals – both in your career and personal life
When it comes to your career, think about what makes you happy and align this with what you’re good at. Many people spend their 20s trying to figure out what they want to do for work. Use these experiences as stepping-stones for career choices in your 30s.
Make a list of pros and cons from all previous jobs, and what projects you enjoyed the most. Perhaps you got to travel abroad for philanthropic cause and learned to love charity work; or you organized a major event for a product launch and always wanted to do more event planning. Hone in on the activities you enjoyed most and why, and spend your 30s pursuing more of them. At this stage in your life you have years of education, work experience and are financially stable enough to follow your true passions. This includes hobbies – so, that train for that half marathon. Either way, make 30 look good on you.
The key to success in your 30s is to enjoy the many special moments and plan wisely for the road ahead. Look at your accomplishments to date and use it as motivation to continue to grow personally, financially and professionally. Whether you recently turned 30, are embarking on 40 or are anywhere in-between, embrace and love this decade of adulthood.
What are you waiting for? Conquer away. Let us know what you’re checking off your to-do list in your 30s: @HavenLifeInsure.