Financial milestones to achieve in your 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s

by - September 13, 2016

If you were an accountant, would you try to do your own plumbing, service your car or prescribe medicine? No, then why would you feel differently about your finances, asks Michael Kirkpatrick, Alexander Forbes Business & Distribution Enablement specialist.

“Many people underestimate the value of getting financial advice from a qualified, professional financial adviser.  Financial advisers are experts in their field and have dedicated their careers to helping others reach their financial goals,” he said.

Professional advisers know what information is relevant to developing a financial roadmap for you and can separate themselves from making emotional decisions on the most appropriate route to take. “They’ll assess your risks and your likelihood of reaching your goals and aspirations and recommend the most appropriate solution.”

Your financial adviser can help raise your general financial knowledge so that you can make informed financial decisions on investments, risk reduction, risk management or understanding the choices you have to make. “When you’re educated about financial well-being you will start saving earlier or protecting the assets you have created, avoiding unnecessary strain on your monthly income as you get closer to the end of your investment time horizon, such as retirement, for example.”

Examples of the value created are through structuring of investments and sequence income drawn in retirement between compulsory and discretionary investments to achieve tax and cost efficiencies.


Value your advisor according to how close you get to your goal, says Kirkpatrick. “We all have goals in life, and the best way to reach these goals is to have a plan in place. The better your plan, the closer you’ll get to your goal. Your adviser is like a financial fitness coach, keeping you on track to reach your goals.”

Research has indicated that people who seek advice had more sophisticated products and protected their families more with insurance products. “These people also tended to have a higher savings rate and longer savings periods – all positive behaviour aimed at securing their financial well-being. This is already a measure of an adviser’s value-add.”

With access to advice, you are more likely to adopt a long-term investment strategy, creating better savings behaviour, choosing tax-efficient investments, protecting yourself against poor financial decisions, sticking to your financial plan and avoiding harmful emotional reactions to your investments. “An accredited financial adviser can also help you choose the right level of long term cover (life insurance) and short-term cover (for example motor and household insurance) to ensure that you protect what matters most to you.”

The greatest benefit of getting advice from an accredited financial adviser is the peace of mind that a professional is overseeing your financial well-being, standing by you through every stage of your lifelong financial well-being journey.

Financial milestones in your 20s
You’ve probably only recently begun your working career. Once employed, it’s crucial to adopt good money habits so that you can achieve your short-term and long-term financial goals.
  • Building up a good savings base in case of emergencies.
  • Creating a good credit profile.
  • Managing your budget responsibly.
  • Basic short term and disability insurance
  • Basic level of medical aid.
Financial milestones in your 30s
You’re probably more settled in your career and you may be starting a family, pursuing hobbies, travelling or getting additional qualifications.
  • Building up savings for items such as education, holidays and childcare.
  • Reviewing your insurance portfolio to take care of your growing family.
  • Reviewing your medical aid to cover those little ones.
  • Estate planning, making sure your loved ones are taken care of should you pass away.
  • Contributing towards your retirement savings.
Financial milestones in your 40s
You may have already been labelled by some as ‘middle-aged’, but this is actually the most exciting time in your life, as you’re now experienced and have also acquired significant life skills.
  • Making sure that you’re contributing enough towards your retirement savings.
  • Working on reducing your debt load.
  • Reviewing your insurance portfolio to ensure that all policies are at an appropriate level.
  • Keep yourself on track to reach your investment goals.
Financial milestones in your 50s
Your retirement is only a few years away. Your children will be older and may be leaving home, giving you more time to focus on goals and dreams that are important to you.
  • Making sure your retirement planning is on the right track.
  • Reducing debt load to minimum levels, working towards no debt by retirement date.
  • Building additional investments for achieving life goals, like taking that second honeymoon.
  • Estate planning, an important consideration at this stage of your life.
  • Reviewing your insurance portfolio to ensure that all policies are at the right level and that you don’t have unnecessary policies.
Financial milestones in your 60s
Your retirement is now closer than ever and protecting what you’ve already saved up will be your top priority. You’ve spent decades building up your nest egg and the time has finally come to decide how you’re going to use it.
  • Consider deferring your retirement or continue working part time.
  • Creating extra income streams.
  • Ensuring you have the right level of healthcare cover in place.
  • Estate planning, an important consideration at this stage of your life.

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