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4 things to do with your money when you turn 40
If you are approaching or in your 40s and feeling like your finances could do with some tender love and care, make 2021 the year to do it!
Your 40s should be a fantastic time in your life, especially financially.
While some may choose the mid-life crisis path and blow the majority of their money on a shiny, red Ferrari, there is a better option – an option that could help to set you up now and for the rest of your future.
This option is to assess your financial fitness, or as we like to call it “a financial audit”. Once you’ve audited yourself, you can make some real life-changing financial adjustments for financial freedom in the future.
The age of 40 is the perfect time to take this option.
You are likely at your peak earning years and have a stable routine, including stable income and expenses. This means you can get a clear picture of what your next month, year, and decade ahead will look like.
If you haven’t already, forty is the perfect age to plan.
So how do you carry out a financial audit?
Start by asking yourself a few questions about where you are right now and whether you are expecting any significant changes in the near future?
- What are your largest expenses?
- Do you have a mortgage (or two)?
- Do you have any other outstanding loans or debts (maybe credit cards)?
- Are you considering a career change or expecting a change in your number of working hours due to family changes?
- Are you a small business owner or planning to start your own business?
- Do you have children with school fees, clothes, extra activities to pay for?
- Do you have ageing parents who are contemplating their aged care needs and costs?
Assessing your whole financial picture and using financial modelling tools can help assess how financially fit you really are.
At NFPG, we use the latest technology and software to model your financial health. Want to try out our lifelong financial modelling tool? Book your initial complimentary appointment with our team today!
So… if you’ve done your financial fitness audit, now what?
If you are a little worried about the longevity of your finances or whether you will have enough in retirement, here are some steps you could take to potentially improve your financial fitness.
Here are 4 things you can do with your money in your 40s
1. Check your super
Aside from owning your own home, your superannuation can often be your biggest financial asset.
A quick super health check may help you increase your retirement savings. By looking at your investment options, your risk profile and whether you have multiple accounts that can be consolidated, then making some tweaks, you’re already winning.
You may also like to investigate what life insurance is included in your superannuation account and consider any adjustments.
Super can be a bit boring to think about, but a financial adviser is knowledgeable in this area and can help you understand how to better align your super to your overall financial goals.
2. Pump up your retirement savings
Your 40s can be peak earning years, particularly if you have been in the same job for a long time or have returned to full–time work after family or career breaks in your 30s.
Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics highlights that employees aged 45 to 54 earned an average weekly income of $1,544.20, the highest of all age groups.1
This may be the decade to step up your retirement planning. For example, you may like to divert some of your surplus income into your superannuation through salary sacrificing to build your nest egg during in your peak earning years (and potentially reduce your tax bill at the same time).
Be sure to do your homework and speak with a financial adviser to find out what your superannuation options are and how you can increase your retirement savings account.
3. Avoid “lifestyle inflation”
One of the great things about being in your 40s is that you are likely financially established and relatively secure.
If your 40s are your peak earning years, then you should be living it up, right? You could, but is it sensible? And more importantly, is it sustainable?
While you can increase your spending on certain things and can enjoy an occasional treat like a family vacation, it’s important not to let costs overcome you. Don’t spend all of your money increasing your lifestyle.2
Secure income is importantly but controlling and monitoring your cash flow shouldn’t be forgotten.
4. Scale up your investments
You’ve established you may be in your peak earning period, so how does a new investment strategy sound?
If you decide to start an investment portfolio, or increase your current level of investment, keep in mind that it’s important to work with a financial adviser who can source and explain the different investment options and how they align to your financial objectives and risk tolerance.
It’s also important to ensure your investments match your short, medium and long-term financial goals.
Shares, bonds, and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) generally have a long-term time horizon, so it’s wise to get advice before jumping in headfirst.
Do you have a full picture financial plan?
If you don’t have a financial plan, now that you’re in your 40s, it’s time to get one.
Having a sensible plan and a realistic view of your overall financial position can help you set and maintain financial goals now and into the future.
Financial planning is designed to identify areas you can target to boost your wealth and take a long-term view of your financial health. A financial adviser can work with you to develop and implement a realistic plan that considers your financial goals and objectives.
Your 40s are a great time to really examine your finances and set or re-set your financial goals.
Talk to a financial planner and secure your future. Make your 40s your best decade yet with the support of NFPG’s experienced advice team.
The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of RI Advice Group’s position and are not to be attributed to RI Advice Group. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author. This information (including taxation) is general in nature and does not consider your individual circumstances or needs. Do not act until you seek professional advice. Newcastle Financial Planning Group, Central Coast Financial Planning Group and Sydney Wealth Advisers are subsidiaries of Coastal Advice Group which is a Corporate Authorised Representative of RI Advice Group Pty Ltd, ABN 23 001 774 125 AFSL 238429.