A solid financial foundation can help you feel less overwhelmed, so that you are able to mark these events with more joy than anxiety. Below are six financial considerations:
1. Include finance talk as part of your "I Do" prep
Whether you've already walked down the aisle or are just about to make that trip, get on the same page as your spouse regarding your financial house. It's a good idea to talk about your monthly budget, your short- and long-term goals, and what types of decisions should be made jointly, such as large purchases over a certain dollar amount. Having this discussion at the beginning of your marriage can prevent many financial and emotional headaches that come from having separate or competing financial plans.
2. Childproof your finances
With regard to raising children, it's often said that the days are long but the years are short. So while your own children could be very young, or perhaps simply a twinkle in your eye, it's never too early to begin making room for them – in your pocketbooks. With the cost of post-secondary education continuing to increase, ask yourself how you'd like to contribute to their education. Do you envision yourself paying for the entire cost, or just a portion? Working with a financial advisor can help you understand how saving for education may impact your other savings goals.
3. Invest systematically
In this busy decade, look for ways to take the work out of saving. With systematic investing, you can have a set amount electronically transferred each month to savings, investments or your retirement plan. Investing a fixed dollar amount at regular intervals is an approach called dollar cost averaging*, which enables you to buy more shares when prices are low and fewer shares when prices are high. By investing on a set schedule, you'll also develop discipline that can help you be a better long-term investor.
4. Pay off your debt
Are you still paying off student loans? Or credit card debt? This is the decade to tackle any outstanding debts. In addition, focus on preparing for your future, whether that's saving for your children's education, saving for retirement, or both.
5. Prepare an estate strategy
As you begin accumulating savings, it's important to protect them and the people you care for should anything happen to you. Begin by examining your life insurance options and considering working with your lawyer to discuss creating a Will as well as your wishes for future medical care. This way, you can make your own decisions now, instead of someone else having to make them for you later.
6. Whatever you do, start now
Time is a very valuable asset. The earlier you start determining your goals and then preparing to reach them, the more time you'll have to enjoy your plans.
Contact your local financial advisor
Call an Edward Jones financial advisor if you'd like to discuss how to help make sure this decade is a productive one for you financially.
Katherine Tierney is a Senior Retirement Strategist on the Client Needs Research team at Edward Jones. The Client Needs Research team develops and communicates advice and guidance for client needs, including retirement, education, preparing for the unexpected and leaving a legacy. Katherine has more than 15 years of financial services and retirement experience. She is a contributor to Edward Jones Perspectives and has been quoted in various publications.
*Dollar cost averaging does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.