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Financial Guide For All Ages

Financial Intelligence For The Whole Family

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When we think about what children need to learn at a young age, usually the basics come to mind first - reading, writing and arithmetic for starters. However, there should be great importance placed on teaching financial literacy and intelligence at an early age, too. After all, many money  habits are already set by age seven. By forming and practicing healthy money habits early on, you can prepare children for a lifetime of financial well-being.

 

Despite the value of teaching children about finances, these lessons in money management do not start and end in childhood. There are a number of financial milestones that everyone should strive to reach at certain times in their lives to guarantee financial health. With this guide, parents can teach their children good financial habits and plan for their own future at the same time. We will explore key financial milestones at various life stages to help every member of your family work towards good money management skills.

 

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Financial Advice For Children Aged 8-15

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This is a momentous time for a young person. They move from being fully dependent on mom and dad for everything to doing some things independently. However, at this age, the great majority of children still live at home and rely on their parents for all the necessities of life. Around this time, children begin to understand how money works. They may start earning an allowance and understanding the concept of working to earn money. Most children will also begin to notice the costs of different items, while also being exposed to advertising.

 

Some of the financial goals and milestones of this age range should include:

  • Teach the value of money. Practice recognizing the different coins and bills and the value of each one. Also, help your children understand that while money can be exchanged for items they desire, it doesn’t “grow on trees” and must be earned.

  • Teach children the difference between instant and delayed gratification. Show them the value of buying something after saving for it versus making an impulsive purchase.

  • Demonstrate the importance of savings. There are a number of ways to do this, from starting with a piggy bank to opening their own savings account. Whichever route you choose, the most important lesson is taught by leading by example.

 

 

Financial Advice For Young People Aged 16-19

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Teenagers in this age bracket are experiencing new and exciting life changes - they are getting their first job, researching and applying for college, beginning to date and starting to imagine what the future will hold. Needless to say, there are many financial milestones to achieve at this age.

A few you may want to focus on include:

  • Open a checking account. This is the first step to money management, as they will learn about spending, ATM limits, banking history and more with your financial guidance.

  • Explain credit reports. Spend some time explaining what a credit report is and how credit scores affect a person’s borrowing and spending power.

  • Find student or general loans. Before applying for college, look over the lending options to help your teen find a loan that won’t cause him or her undue financial stress.

 

Financial Advice For Young Adults In Their 20s

 

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This is another monumental age, as the transition to adulthood has begun. Some young adults will go to college and, thus, acquire student debt. Others are entering the workforce and starting their career.

 

As such, there are a few important steps for establishing a strong financial base.

  • Obtain your first credit card. Do your research and choose a card with a competitive interest rate, no annual fee and hopefully one that offers a bonus in the form of airline frequent flyer miles or cash back.

  • Establish an emergency fund. Every adult should have 3-6 months of their salary saved in an easy-to-access account in case of an emergency expense.

  • Start an investment portfolio. It doesn’t take a lot of money to start investing. The key is to start early and learn the process.

  • Establish a good credit history and score. Keep a close eye on your credit score and make sure you’re utilizing your credit in a way that keeps it in good standing.

  • Have $25,000 or more saved for retirement. Starting early with retirement savings will put you on track for long-term financial security.

 

Financial Advice For Adults In Their 30s

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Today, younger generations are delaying marriage and home ownership until their 30s. For many, this stage is a time for establishing stability, and starting a family, buying a home and planning for the future become top priorities. Despite your goals and preferences, the 30s are a good time to establish financial stability.

 

Some financial milestones include:

  • Pay off student loan debt. Depending on the size of your student loan debt, this could be a great time to build a plan to eliminate a large portion of it—or all of it.

  • Buy a home. Today, the median age for first-time homebuyers is 32, according to the National Association of Realtors. Ensure you’re in a stable position with steady access to cash before taking on a mortgage.

  • Save double your salary in retirement. When building your retirement savings, this is a goal to strive toward in your 30s.

  • Acquire term life insurance. Doing so allows you to lock in a low rate for the years to come. Waiting until later - when you and your loved ones are more vulnerable—can lead to higher rates.

  • Improve your credit. Between your 20s and 30s, you may have made some financial decisions - both good and bad - that impacted your credit score. Use this time to repair and improve your credit.

  • Get a will. It’s never too early to write a will, especially if children are involved and/or you have acquired substantial assets.

 

Financial Advice For Adults In Their 40s

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In your 40s, you are most likely trying to “do it all.” You may be helping to care for your own parents as they age yet still raising your children and preparing to pay for their college. You also need to prepare for retirement, yet may still need to eliminate debt to boost your savings.

 

A few important financial milestones at this age include:

  • Maximize earnings. Negotiate salaries, ask for raises or find additional sources of income to increase your take-home pay.

  • Max out retirement contributions. At the same time, open various types of accounts for retirement funds such as IRAs and taxable investment accounts.

  • Put away 8-15% of salary. Aim to save as much of your salary as possible. Alternatively, find areas in which you can downsize to increase savings.

  • Have an estate plan in place. With an estate plan, you can properly protect yourself, your family and your assets in the event you become incapacitated or deceased.

  • Strive for debt freedom (except for the mortgage). You’re likely still paying off your mortgage, but this is a great time to begin eliminating other debt.

 

Financial Advice For Those In Their 50s

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In your 50s, you’re likely looking forward to retirement. Perhaps you’re wanting to downsize by moving to a smaller home or getting rid of unnecessary items. You’re also enjoying years of hard work and protecting the assets you have acquired.

Some financial goals for the 50s include:

  • Maximize your retirement savings. Continue to find additional ways to spend less and save more for your retirement fund.

  • Determine when to begin drawing from retirement accounts. You’ll also need to understand how much will be distributed. Learn the drawbacks of drawing too early - or too late - to determine a time that works best for you.

  • Understand Social Security and Medicare plan options. Social Security and Medicare planning can help you maximize your retirement income while striving to minimize risk.

  • Consider long-term care options. It’s estimated that 70% of seniors will require some type of long-term care in their lifetime, so it’s important to be prepared.

 

Financial Advice For Seniors In Their 60s

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During this time, you are most likely transitioning into retirement, protecting your nest egg and possibly relocating.

There are still a few steps you need to take to protect your financial future.

  • Have at least 10 times your ending salary in a retirement account. This is a great end-goal for your retirement savings to ensure you are financially secure in those years.

  • Pay off any remaining debt. This includes your mortgage and credit card debit. The goal is to enter your retirement years debt-free.

  • Have a tax plan for retirement savings. You will have to pay income taxes when you take the money out of your IRA and 401(k) in retirement, so it’s important to plan for this in advance.

  • Re-evaluate your health and life insurance. Make sure you have adequate coverage, and make adjustments as needed.

  • Update your will. A lot has changed since you first created your will. Make sure it protects all of your assets and reflects your current wishes.

 

Financial Advice For Seniors In Their 70s and Beyond

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Once you’re in your 70s, you should be enjoying retirement years. Required Minimum Distributions begin and it is also time to consider what your legacy will be.

 

Your financial milestones in your golden years include:

In conclusion, there is always a need to educate children regarding finances, but education never ends. Partnering with a wealth management company like Caldwell Trust can help guide you throughout each milestone and ensure you make the right financial decisions both today and in the future.

 

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