Photo: Flickr via derickadame
For many of us, January is littered with a motley assortment of resolutions.Instead of willing yourself to give up chocolate, while saving an extra $500 a month and finally learning Chinese, try whittling down the list to what really matters.
We’ve come up with some of the most important things that will keep you on track for a bright fiscal future. In other words, these are tasks that will set you up to have a great 2013 straight through to 2025.
And since our readers are all unique and in different life stages, we took the theme of “years” to a whole new level: Here are the top five things you should do in each decade of your life, from your 20s to your 60s and beyond.
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.
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