You’re leaving lots of money on the table if you aren’t doing these things at 30.
Turning 30 is viewed as a watershed moment in life, signaling the transition from the carefree days of youth to the responsibilities of mature adulthood.
However, by putting off saving for retirement you’re actually throwing money away due to the power of compound interest.
Let’s say your friend starts saving $5,000 ($417 a month) a year at 20, but you wait until 30 to do the same. At 10% compound interest per year, by 60, your friend will have saved $2,262,960 and you will have saved $863,725—a difference of about $1.4 million dollars.
So, don’t leave money on the table! Learn how much money you should have saved by 30, find out how to make adjustments if you haven’t, and make your financial goals a reality.
- Understand the Power of Compound Interest — The importance of starting your savings journey early can’t be overstated. Waiting a decade can mean missing out on over a million dollars in retirement funds due to the power of compound interest.
- Eliminate Debt First — High-interest debt erodes wealth. Every penny paid towards interest on debt is money that isn’t working for you. Focus on paying off high-interest debts to free up funds in the long run.
- Preparing for an Emergency — Save enough to cover 3-6 months of expenses. This fund prepares you for unexpected events so you can focus on your retirement savings plan.
How Much Should You Have Saved by 30 (And Beyond)
You should have the equivalent of your annual salary saved by 30, according to Fidelity Investments.
For example, if you make $55,000 a year, you should ideally have $55,000 saved for retirement.
The earlier you start, the better chance you have of achieving this goal. Of course, this goal is somewhat arbitrary and depends on your future financial goal, but it serves as a good benchmark.
Here is how much you should have saved beyond 30:
- By age 40 — 3x your income
- By age 50 — 6x your income
- By age 60 — 8x your income
- By age 67 — 10x your income
1. Set Tiered Financial Goals
As with most things in life, it’s important to set achievable goals. Start with short-term goals: sticking to a budget, building an emergency fund, and eliminating credit card debt.
Then, set mid-term goals, like getting life-insurance, and long-term goals like saving for retirement by setting aside 10-15% of every paycheck to contribute to a tax-advantaged retirement account.
2. Prioritize Paying Off Debt
Paying interest on debt is a financial tragedy. You’re paying money and receiving nothing of value in return.
This is particularly true of high-interest debt. It’s easy to get caught in a debt spiral, and as your interest payments escalate, your savings dwindles and your goal of a comfortable retirement slips away.
Focus on paying off high-interest debt first. If your debt is simply too much for you to handle, consider speaking with a Debt Consultant at Americor about debt relief, debt consolidation, or debt settlement.
3. Build an Emergency Fund
Now that you’ve cleared your high-interest debts, it’s time to concentrate on building an emergency fund. A good rule of thumb is to save enough to cover 3-6 months of expenses.
This money is your safety net in the event of unforeseen circumstances like losing your job, having a medical emergency, or having to pay for a large unexpected expense. With an emergency fund in place, you’ll be in a good place to start saving for retirement. It’s important to note that with emergency funds, more isn’t always better.
Setting aside more than 6 months worth of cash in a low-interest savings account can work against you due to inflation.
4. Set Clear Financial Priorities
Now that you have 3-6 months of cash to fall back on, you can start prioritizing your financial goals.
This could mean saving for a house, padding your retirement fund, saving for a vacation, or establishing an education trust. Make sure to routinely reassess and adapt your financial priorities to your changing financial situation and your long term goals.
5. Don’t be Afraid of a Little Risk
The further away retirement is for you, the more risk you should ideally be able to handle. The market fluctuates in the short-term, but over the course of 20 or 30 years, it typically goes up.
Embrace risk, but be smart about it. Maintaining a portfolio that’s comfortably risky. Avoid overly conservative investments that have little chance of competing with inflation.
The Rule of 110 (110 – your age = percent of your portfolio made up of stocks) suggests an 80% stocks and 20% bonds ratio for those in their 30s.
6. Retirement Before Kids’ Education
If you have children, or are planning on having children, saving for their education is probably at the top of mind. However, you should prioritize your retirement savings over their future education.
Here’s why: Your kids will have opportunities to finance their studies with scholarships, loans, and cost-effective institutions, but your options for a comfortable retirement are limited.
Wait until you’re able to consistently save a percentage of your income toward retirement before you start thinking about saving for your kids’ education.
7. Increase Savings with Income Growth
The fastest way to have more money is simple. Make more money. As you progress in your career, be intentional about increasing your earnings.
Change jobs for higher pay, aim for promotions, and ask for raises when appropriate. Saving a percentage of a higher income means a better, closer retirement.
8. Embrace the 401(k) and Roth IRA Combo
Leverage both a 401(k) and Roth IRA to maximize retirement benefits. A 401(k) allows you to contribute pre-tax money and is often matched by employers.
A Roth IRA allows you to contribute post-tax money, and grows tax-free. Combine these accounts for a balanced approach. Regularly review and adjust your contributions to stay aligned with your retirement goals and tax strategy.
9. Master Your Tax Strategy
The older you get, the more complex your taxes typically become. Make the most of deductions and credits, especially as you become a homeowner and build a family.
Developing a savvy tax strategy can lead to significant savings, so it’s worth consulting with a professional or investing in helpful tax software.
10. Harness the Magic of Compounding Interest
Back to compounding interest. Compounding interest is one of the most powerful forces in finance. Your investments not only earn returns, but those returns earn returns too. It’s the epitome of making your money work for you.
As we demonstrated at the beginning of this article, starting early can make a tremendous difference.
Even if the amounts are modest at the beginning, over time, with regular contributions and the power of compounding, your investments can grow exponentially. Being consistent and patient is key.
At Americor, we understand the importance of managing your finances wisely.
If high-interest debts are impacting your savings, investments and financial well-being, explore our debt relief solutions, including debt settlement and debt consolidation, to regain control of your financial future.
If your debt has become unmanageable and you have difficulty making your debt payments each month, then you should consider negotiating a debt settlement and an affordable payment plan that suits your budget.
Talk to one of our certified Debt Consultants, for free, who can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific needs.
By taking proactive steps, you can put an end to your financial stress and work towards a brighter financial future. Remember, there is always hope for debt relief, and our team of experienced professionals are ready to guide you on your journey to regaining control of your finances.
For more information on Americor’s debt relief services, contact us today to see how we can help you eliminate your debts, and get on the fast-track to becoming completely debt-free!