When I turned 30, all I remember thinking about was, "Wow, I am no longer in my twenties!" And as momentous and scary as it can be to start that new decade, I was not yet responsible enough to realize this was the age to start thinking about the future. But not just the next day or next week, but the next decade and there-after.
When I turned 35, and had my first child, this is when all that "Oh my gosh we need to be responsible" stuff set in. As I mentioned, I wish it'd happened 5 years earlier, but the age of 35 was not a bad time to start. With the responsibility of a child in the house, my husband and I realized we better buck up. After we figured out how to change diapers, learned that we would not be getting any sort of sleep for a while and realized we were no longer alone, we decided to plan our future.
We started with life insurance, after all, we now had precious cargo to take care of, and we wanted to make sure if something happened to us, this cargo was financially okay. Life insurance is a great way to plan for retirement, for accidents, for mistakes and for all of life's ups and downs in general. Life insurance is also used as a savings account, an account for charitable contributions and as an inheritance. Having a policy is one way to have some peace of mind when there is an emergency or unexpected life glitch. And if we are lucky enough, we won't have to use it until we are old and gray.
Next was our Will's. Having a will is your insurance that everything that is yours, such as investment accounts, children, art work, your aunt Rose's Tiffany lamp etc...will go exactly where and/or to whom you want it to. This was so important to us, especially after our second child, because we wanted to make sure if, god forbid, something happened to both of us, we chose exactly who we wanted to take our children. Having a Will is included in our finances because we chose the people, who we not only love, but also have the monetary means to take care of our children for the rest of their lives.
Finally, we dealt with money. Cash. I wish we'd started this when we were 30, feeling, again, that we were five years behind, but luckily, my husband had and has a 401K and pension with work, and I had some small IRA's (retirement accounts) my father had opened for me. What we did need to do was change names and add our family onto these accounts so that they could benefit from them as well if we were/are unable to. We also kept less money in traditional bank accounts, and put more into other accounts, the IRA's, 509's (college funds for the kids), life insurance etc...so that they mature for our future. Not say we don't keep a small savings account for a rainy day, but in general, in your thirties, it's time to think future. You don't want to suddenly turn 60, and life goes by quick, and realize you don't have much to live on. Start saving now.
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