Financial goals can be an invaluable way to stay on the path toward your financial objectives, like creating an emergency fund and paying down debt.
Many 50-year-olds are at their peak earning period and have plenty of time to save for retirement or pursue other long-term goals, such as purchasing a home, paying tuition fees, or contributing to charitable organizations. A goals account can help but the following are also very important.
1. Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund can help you weather life’s storms without incurring debt, according to experts. They advise saving an equivalent of three to six months’ expenses in your rainy day savings account. Start by reviewing your budget, which should include regular costs such as insurance, utility bills, and groceries as well as discretionary spending such as streaming services, dining out, impulsive Amazon purchases, or vacations which could be reduced each month so more money goes toward your savings goal.
If you’re having difficulty saving for emergencies, set small goals and work your way towards them. Achieving these mini-goals can give you the motivation to continue and eventually hit that larger savings goal. Other ways of saving may include buying generic brands, meal planning ahead of time, and downgrading cell phone plans as well as working overtime or having no-spend months or working overtime hours. Finally, set an automatic transfer from each paycheck directly into savings so it doesn’t get spent elsewhere accidentally.
2. Earn a Higher Salary
Setting financial goals can be an excellent way to change your mindset, habits, and ultimately your life. But it’s essential to set SMART financial goals that meet both current conditions and prioritize needs.
An abstract goal like “raise credit score” might not provide sufficient incentive to work toward it; by contrast, setting specific and measurable targets like “increase credit score from 680 to 760 in 12 months” would make your goal more measurable and obtainable.
Earning a higher salary can help your finances and expand the amount of money available for spending, helping pay off debt or save for future goals. A steady source of income such as an increase in salary also can assist with budget-busting expenses like aging care costs.
3. Buy Your Own Home
Before making the leap to homeownership, it’s essential that you carefully assess your portfolio and consult a trusted financial advisor. SmartAsset’s free tool connects you with financial advisors in your area who can help determine if now is an opportune time to purchase a home and achieve other financial goals, like saving for retirement. Purchasing a home should only make financial sense when planning the right budget is established and followed. Doing this ensures you don’t spend too much of your income on housing alone and risk becoming house-poor; rather, this will allow enough left over for other expenses like utilities and maintenance without draining away all your savings.
4. Save for Retirement
Calculating how much to save for retirement and your goals account can be a complex and time-consuming undertaking, though some general guidelines exist such as saving two times your annual salary by age 35, or using the 25x rule, which estimates future expenses and multiplies them by 25 in order to calculate what amount needs to be set aside in order to live comfortably during retirement.
Singletary suggests that putting long-term goals as your top priority may make achieving them simpler. This includes creating an emergency savings account, building up an investment portfolio, and paying off debt before setting new savings targets.
Attain your savings goals faster by working additional years to increase your income and savings for retirement. Once you’ve done this, cut down spending and save more quickly to reach long-term goals more quickly – living off less than what you earn will free up more of your funds for investing and paying down debt.