Financials 101: 26 Financial Tips for the Next Generation

Why is it important to start early in saving for retirement? 

Here are a few stats to ponder…the Government Accountability Office study (2019) found that nearly 48% of Americans ages 55 and older don’t have any retirement nest egg or traditional pension plan.

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found in its 20th annual survey that millennials had median retirement savings of approximately $23,000, compared to $64,000 for Gen Xers and $144,000 for Baby Boomers.

The Economic Policy Institute estimates that those ages 32 to 37 have saved around $31,644, but that figure rises substantially to around $67,270 for those ages 38 to 43. For those ages 44 to 49, the average retirement savings are $81,347. Finally, those ages 50 to 55 have saved an average of $124,831.

At WPC we do not want you fall into these statistics, so we are outlining how to take the first step in setting up your financial house regardless of if you’re just starting your real job or setting off in your career. Here are our 26 tips for the next generation:

BUDGET – set savings and spending goals

  • Be very aware of your inflows and outflows
  • Adjust and monitor monthly initially so you don’t fall behind
  • Ask for guidance from a trusted person or financial professional
  • Build an emergency fund
  • Employ any excess money wisely

 

CREDIT CARD – establish a Great Credit Score

  • Obtain a card in your name
  • Use and pay off in full monthly
  • Be aware of payment dates to avoid late charges and additional interest

 

PLAN PARTICIPATION – contribute to and set up an appropriate allocation for your deferred savings and hopefully employer match

  • Defer at least 10% to start from your paycheck to plan
  • Make sure you are receiving any eligible matches
  • Review your plan investment options and set a growth allocation for your funds
  • Monitor your plan for investment option changes
  • Assess increasing your savings rate annually until you reach the maximum allowed

 

ROTH IRA – open and contribute to up to the maximum contribution limits while eligible and take full advantage of decades of compounding

  • Set up monthly automatic contributions of $500 to reach the annual maximum allowed
  • Establish an investment allocation
  • Watch this tax free bucket grow

 

SET SHORT TERM GOALS – determine home ownership goals and other major purchases like cars

  • If buying a home begin saving for the down payment
  • If buying a car begin saving for the down payment and look into financing options
  • Put any excess funds towards these goals and earmark for that specific goal

 

EXECUTE BASIC LEGAL DOCUMENTS – appoint the correct individuals to help carry out your legacy and wishes

  • Create and complete basic legal documents such as, Financial and Healthcare Powers of Attorney, Will and Living Will, Guardianship
  • Be sure to designate beneficiaries on your employer plan, IRA and Roth IRA
  • Have a Payable on Death (POD) designation on your bank accounts

 

LIFE EVENTS  – MARRIAGE & CHILDREN

  • Review basic legal documents and update beneficiaries
  • Consider life insurance coverage needs for yourself and spouse
  • Begin 529 accounts for children as they are born
  • Adjust budget for formula, diapers, childcare expenses, date night and bigger car!

 

WPC is a trusted advisory firm for individuals and families for all their financial topics and investment management needs! Our goal is quality, custom advice, exceptional service, and follow-through with every client encounter. We seek to educate each client and increase their financial confidence.

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