A popular perception amongst millennials is that they stand a fair chance of becoming millionaires at some point in their lives. The American dream is still alive even despite the problems this country is facing now. Most believe that they will retire by the time they reach the age of 60 or thereabouts. However, for accomplishing these ambitious and admittedly optimistic goals, it is crucial that you first attain specific financial milestones grounded in reality.
In this post, we will discuss 4 realistic milestones that you need to accomplish by the time you reach the age of 30, so that you are set for a strong and growth-oriented financial future.
Goal 1: Strengthen Your Skill Set
Compared to all the other goals, you might find this one the most enjoyable. Your 20s are meant to invest in yourself, whether that involves saving up for further education, traveling or experiencing the myriad facets of life. You have fewer commitments at this stage and can easily pursue activities that interest you the most.
Start by listing your goals, whether you are considering a trip to an exotic destination, attending an upcoming music festival, or gaining admission to a top university. With that done, you need to start saving. The importance of developing the discipline to keep some money aside from each paycheck that you receive cannot be emphasized enough. Living within your means is critically important.
You might even consider an arrangement in which your savings are directly taken out of your paycheck, which deters you from overspending. Whenever you receive a raise, increase the amount of your savings until you reach a point where about 15% of your income is kept away for your financial security.
Goal 2: Keep Your Debt Under Control
On an average, personal debt has scaled new heights in recent times. More than 50% of Americans admit that debt reduction is a top financial priority for them today.
Interestingly, a study found that there was a much higher probability of people accumulating from $5,000 to $25,000 as debt rather than personal savings. This can be because of college loans which can be paid off with dedication.
Considering all this, it is vital to start early in managing your debt, whether it is for car loans, student loans or credit card debt. Keeping your debt under control gives you a better grip on life and helps you focus on achieving greater success in every aspect of your life and career.
Goal 3: Begin Saving For Your Retirement
Even if you aren’t able to do anything else before reaching the age of 30, this one counts as one of the key goals. Don’t fall short of contributing enough to your employer’s 403(b) or 401(k) for maximizing the employer match.
While 66% of millennials are engaged in jobs that include a retirement plan, just 55% of them (in contrast to 80% of Boomers) are qualified for participating in an employer’s plan, a study has found. Workers may fail to be eligible for such a plan due to not having been employed long enough or not working enough hours to be able to qualify.
Taking advantage of your employer’s plan makes for good financial sense. When you’re in your golden years of life, these efforts at frugality will stand you in good stead. The earlier you begin saving, the longer your money will compound, resulting in a comfortable retirement saving.
Goal 4: Acquire the Knowledge and Habit of Investing
You’ll get an idea of the power of investing when you open your first employer-sponsored savings plan like 401(k). However, there are other opportunities available to invest as well for those in their 20s and 30s.
Although it may be somewhat premature to start consulting with a financial advisor, there are quite a few robo-advisors that specifically focus on millennials with less demanding fees and minimums. For a small monthly fee, you can start investing in good retirement products through reliable investment apps.
These apps and robo-advisors can help you open an IRA and select a low-cost portfolio for you in accordance with your risk appetite and investment goals. You can begin investing with very small amounts in a Traditional IRA, Roth IRA or SEP IRA.
Another option for low cost investing is the Robinhood platform – which has a mobile as well as web app. Robinhood allows you to trade in stocks for free and offers a Gold service as well, which comes for a small monthly fee. Robinhood has also launched Robinhood Crypto, which allows users to trade in Bitcoin and other virtual currencies – for which no commission is charged.