Mid Life Check-In
The period between our 40s and 60s is often associated as “mid-life.” Maybe you’ve traveled, have a pet, bought a house, started a family, or progressed in your career and are now wondering how your financial life is going. Here’s a list of what we think are the most important Do’s and Don’ts as you have a mid-life check-in on your financial life.
Keep on saving
Your income has probably increased quite a bit during your career. Make sure the amount you “pay yourself,” or save, increases too. A good target is to put aside 20% or more of your income before spending on everything else that life demands.
Many people have most of their investments in their company’s pre-tax 401(k) account. If that’s you, consider saving in after-tax accounts after maximizing your 401(k) match. Those extra savings could go into an after-tax investment, TreasuryDirect, or Roth IRA account, which will provide flexibility for where you draw money from in the future.
Think about your loved ones
Other people may rely on you and your income at this point in life. While it’s not fun to think about, it’s essential to prepare for the people you care about if something happens to you. So here are a few crucial pieces for your financial puzzle:
–Identify a power of attorney: This is someone that can make medical or financial decisions for you if you no longer have the capacity yourself.
–Work with an estate attorney to draft a Will or Trust: A will describes what happens to your assets after you die. It’s your chance to make it crystal clear who should get what. If you don’t have a will, state laws and local courts decide. A trust is typically more expensive than a will but could be better if you want to avoid probate, have accumulated a large amount of wealth, or have young children.
–Consider fixed-term life Insurance: Consider who relies on your income and how to replace that income through withdrawals from investment accounts or payments from fixed-term life insurance.
-Use an online calculator and limit your total housing payments (principal, interest, taxes, and insurance) to your current rent level. That will tell you how much house you can afford.
Don't buy unnecessary products
Just like you avoid spending on frivolous things, stay away from financial “products” that you don’t need—things like annuities or universal/whole life policies. You’ll often find you’re paying too much and can build those benefits yourself through fixed-term life insurance and investing separately.
Don't be a market timer
One of the biggest challenges of building wealth is sticking with your plan when things get tough. Your account balances might be multiples of your annual income, so 10% or 20% declines hurt. On the other hand, it’s probably still ten years before you need to draw from your retirement accounts, so stay invested! A common mistake is relying on emotions to sell your investments. Some may “panic sell” when the market declines and they miss out when it recovers. Ignore the headlines and stick to your financial plan.
Jacobson & Schmitt Advisors, LLC (“JSA”) is a registered investment advisor. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where JSA and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice, and it should not be relied on as such. It should not be considered a solicitation to buy or an offer to sell a security.