Advice For The Ages

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20’s – DO: START AN IRA

Traditional IRA or Roth IRA? It depends on your situation. Either way, putting money away as early in life as possible is key. Make sure you set aside what may be used for a purchase, like a down payment for a home. Never put at risk any money you may need to spend soon.

30’s – DO: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR AGE

The best time to buy insurance is when you’re young and healthy. If you have people in your life that depend on you ­ a spouse or children ­ consider buying life insurance. Your employer may offer sufficient disability insurance. If not, look into securing that coverage as well.

40’s – DO: WRITE YOUR WILL AND ESTABLISH YOUR ESTATE PLAN

That feeling of immortality you likely had when you were younger has probably worn off by now. It’s time to deal with the inevitable! Ask your lawyer about wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care proxies. Wills are particularly important if you have young children. Trusts can greatly simplify inheritance issues, and POAs and HCPs can prevent unnecessary family conflict.

50’s – DO: PAY OFF YOUR MORTGAGE AND OTHER DEBTS

Living debt­free in retirement should be a top priority. A healthy monthly pension can ease the burden of debt, but fewer and fewer people have that luxury. Be sure to pay off your highest interest debts first, e.g., credit cards.

60’s – DO: CREATE A DISTRIBUTION PLAN

At this critical stage of life, you should define how much money you need to withdraw each year, where that money should come from, and what that money should be invested in until it is withdrawn. Mistakes here can be extremely costly ­ even irrecoverable.