Are you starting to think more about your future?
Whether you’re starting a family or beginning a new stage in life, planning for the future can help you get the most out of life. Knowing where to start, however, can be tricky for a beginner. So, if you want to build a plan that ensures health and happiness for you and your family, here are a few essential steps you need to take.
You Should Always Prepare for the Unexpected
If you’re just starting out in life, you may be focusing on your hopes and dreams for the future. That’s not a bad place to start, but it’s important to remember that life can and will throw a few curve balls along the way.
So, as you think about your dreams, also prepare for potential nightmares. The worst of those is making sure your family is taken care of if you or your partner should pass away. Yes, it’s uncomfortable to think about death, but since death is an unavoidable part of everyone’s life plan, it makes sense to plan for it.Basic estate planning doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time either. You need to have a will that protects your property and finances, and you also need to put your healthcare wishes in writing. Life insurance is also a must, and you can use an online rate calculator to figure out your costs and choose the right plan for you.
However, keep in mind that before your insurance company can give you a specific quote, they’ll want to take a look at your overall health — which will include a blood test. This test will check a number ofdifferent aspects of your health, including your cholesterol and blood pressure, as well as if you have a history of using tobacco. Once they’ve taken a look at everything, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll pay in premiums every month.
Another way you can help your family weather any future crisis is to start an emergency savings account. Make it a goal to tuck away anywhere from three to six months worth of expenses into this separate bank account to protect finances.
You Have to Plan Differently If You Have Children
There’s no universal guide for raising your children into healthy, happy adults. Some studies do exist to help youencourage active learning and curiosity in your children. Collaboration and communication are monumental to this effort and can help your children become model citizens. Still, no matter how well you plan and try, you can never predict your family’s future.
You can, however, at least do some additional planning for your financial future. If you have already planned for the unexpected, you’re already halfway there. Planning for the expected should come next. Theseimportant life events include having a new baby and sending your kids to college. As higher education costs continue to rise, that last part will become more important. For babies born in the last year or two, you can expect to pay as much as$500,000 for that college degree, so it’s best to start planning and saving as soon as possible.
You Definitely Need to Plan for Your Retirement Years
Another milestone many people fail to plan properly for is retirement. Financially, you need to find simple ways to save so that you can live comfortably in your golden years. Those years may be well ahead of you, but if you can sink some money into a 401K and make smart investments now, you will have less to worry about when they do arrive.
While you need to have enough to cover living expenses during retirement, you also need to make sure you will be able to cover your future healthcare costs. Medicare and insurance can help with medical bills and expenses, but the average senior will stay pay around $122,000 out of pocket. So, include a little extra padding in your retirement savings and also makebetter lifestyle choices. Spending more time exercising, meditating, or connecting with loved ones can help preserve your physical and mental health, which will lead to more happiness for a lifetime.
You may not be able to predict the future but you can at least plan for it. So, set some goals for your life and set some goals for your family. Make sure your finances align with those goals, but always leave room for the unexpected. Do these things and you will be better prepared for whatever life has in store for you.
About Christopher Haymon, Adulting Digest
After five years, Christopher Haymon is almost debt-free. Leaving college and entering the “real world,” he learned a valuable lesson about the perils of not budgeting or saving. Now that he's on the right track, Christopher writes about finances in his spare time in an effort to help others.
Material discussed is meant to provide general information and it is not to be construed as specific investment, tax, or legal advice. Individual needs vary & require consideration of your unique objectives & financial situation. Please consult with your accountant or tax advisor for specific guidance.