Manage your money through the decades

Manage your money through the decades

moneyEach decade of life usually carries with it several big money moments. Major life events like landing a new job or getting married can be joyous, but they’re also opportunities for making crucial financial decisions—decisions that can have long-term implications on your personal wealth.

Here’s a list of financial moves to make if you are switching jobs, getting married, or starting a family:

1) Switching jobs

  • Make sure you sign up for any health, disability, and life insurance offered by your new employer. Examine any tax-free flexible spending accounts available, and take the time to analyze all the other benefits in your compensation package.
  • Consult with a financial planner about rolling your 401(k) account into a new individual retirement account or your new company’s retirement plan.
  • If your new job brings with it a higher salary, make sure that any significant new purchases you make with your increased income are covered by your existing homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. Many policies limit coverage on jewelry, computers, etc. So you may want to look into purchasing a separate floater policy to fully cover your valuables.2) Getting married
    • Decide which assets and debts you plan to merge and which are to be handled separately. Also, discuss who will manage the accounts and who will be listed as beneficiaries on which investments.
    • Write (or rewrite) your will. If you die without a will, courts in most states will decide how to distribute your possessions, sometimes without the consent of your spouse. Include in the will your wishes for medical care, should you become incapacitated.

    3) Having a baby

    • Once you have a child, life insurance should be as important as diapers. Buy a policy that is at least four times your salary, plus an extra two years’ salary for each child (minus your retirement and investment assets).

    • Rewrite your will. Again, if you die without a will designating who you want to raise your children, then the courts must intervene and decide. Name a backup guardian, as well. Start a college savings account right away. Consider 529 plans that allow tax-free saving for education.