As an adult in your thirties, you more than likely have a lot going on — at this point, you've been in the workforce for a while, have started to finally feel like you're not living paycheck-to-paycheck, and are realizing that, ugh, you are getting older.
So, friends, it's time to start thinking about your money in serious ways. Here are the things you should be prepping/taking action on in your thirties:
1. Assess your retirement savings portfolio.
If you've been contributing to your retirement savings account, great! If you haven't, start immediately. Plan to max out your contributions and consider other investment avenues outside of your retirement accounts so you can save even more. Now is a great time to do a deep dive assessment of your portfolio. It's a good idea to work with a financial advisor to review your investments if you are not sure how best to do it on your own.
2. Pay off debt.
Got student loan, credit cards, or other outstanding consumer loans? Making a plan to pay them off now will allow you become debt-free so you focus on building long-term wealth and pursuing your other goals.
3. Start savings for college, if you want to have kids/are planning for kids.
Certainly not at the expense of your own savings and retirement, but saving for you children's education is a wonderful goal. College isn't get any affordable any time soon. If you're able to spare your children the burden of debt, then you absolutely should. State sponsored 529 accounts are an excellent vehicle for higher education savings.
4. Bulk up your emergency fund.
If you haven't already, you need to work on fully funding your emergency account with three months of your basic living expenses. Six to 12 months would be even better. In the event of a job loss or unexpected emergency not covered by insurance, you have a buffer to fall back on without taking on tons of debt.
5. Get life insurance.
As your financial obligations increase, having life insurance is a necessity to ensure your expenses are covered in the event of a tragedy. Life insurance is not something anyone really wants to think about, but it is important to have.
Consider living benefits insurance. It provides you with coverage while you are alive in addition to having a death benefit. This type of insurance can be very helpful if you get a terminal, critical, or chronic illness and require continued income to cover expenses.
To summarize: In your thirties, your main goals should be to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. Even small changes to improve your finances will have a significant impact on growing your wealth over the long term.