How we manage our money naturally changes as we move from our 20s into our 30s, our 40s, our 50s and beyond. So, what should our top financial priorities be, decade by decade? There is no one-size-fits-all answer and of course each goal does not in reality fit nicely into each ten year period, but here’s what I think are the key common themes.

In your 20s

 Your first focus post education will be to build a career and maximise your income

 Surplus income should then give you a chance to pay off debt

 After which you can establish an emergency cash fund

 This period will hopefully also see you start a pension

In your 30s

 You’ll probably want to put down roots and buy your first home

 Which of course means you’ll need to save for a deposit

 If you have a family, you’ll want to insure yourselves appropriately

 And don’t forget to make a will

In your 40s

– This is often our first time to really engage in financial planning

– A full and busy life means it’s a good time to manage your spending

– As your earnings increase you might be able to invest surplus income

– And as part of that you should aim to increase pension contributions

In your 50s

 Now is the time to really prepare and plan your retirement

 For which you should be aiming to get debt and mortgage free

 You may then be ready to set a retirement date

 And also plan and set retirement lifestyle goals

In your 60s

 After retirement you will begin to use savings for everyday spending

 You’ll also need to make sure you manage pension drawdown carefully

 If you’re short of income but still in a large home you may consider downsizing

 By which stage you will be thinking of the next generation in your estate planning

 

For more detail on all of these financial goals, please click on Further Insights below and have a read through some of my past blogs.