5 Things to Do Every Decade for Financial Success

Allison Kade

5 Things to Do in Your 30s …

1. Become Confident in Investing

The idea is that, at a certain point, you’ll learn enough about investing that you’re confident in making your own investment decisions. That’s not to say that you should start picking individual stocks—you shouldn’t—but you should claim ownership over your own financial life. Want to get started? Learn the ins and outs of investing.

2. Get Life Insurance

The best time to get life insurance is when you’re young and healthy, so you’ll get the best rates possible. Of course, life insurance is even more important when you start having people in your life who depend on you, like children or a spouse who counts on your income. If you’re a stay-at-home parent, this could also include a spouse who depends on your household contribution to be able to continue his or her own success at work.

3. Pay Off Student Loans

Student loans can haunt us for years after graduating, but it feels momentous when we finally pay them off. Don’t have much of a plan for getting these off your back? Read our checklist for paying off student loans.

4. Max Out Retirement Contributions

We hope you opened an IRA and contributed some money while in your 20s, but now that you’re a little more established, it’s time to kick the “but I can’t afford to max it out!” excuse once and for all. Funding your retirement isn’t selfish–even if you have kids. In fact, being self-sufficient in retirement may actually be one of the greatest gifts that you can give your children down the line.

5. Give to Charity

We’ve heard it 1,000 times: “I would love to give to charity, but I’m not rich!” It’s time to stop the excuses and give back to the best of your abilities. This can mean volunteering your time and skills or giving money.

  • christine

    This article is a bit misleading in that you assume that life is a straight trajectory…

    • Kcheme

      I can’t agree more!  My husband is still in college at 32, so those loans will not be paid off in our 30s.  I had a kid when I was 18 and opened up a college savings plan when she was 2 and I was 20.  Good thing I didn’t wait till I was in my 40s to get my kid a 529, she’ll be done with college by then!!  Good advice, but kick the assumptions about age and position in life.

      • Vonettadevo

        Totally agree. Of course people need to plan ahead and be smart but they don’t need to stress out about reaching these milestones at a different time frame. While it would be ideal if everyone’s life worked out so perfectly, that doesn’t happen for many people.