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A Quick Financial Checklist for Major Life Milestones

Everyone should be financially prepared throughout life. There are certain milestones in life that require more preparation than others. Having a financial checklist can help you plan for the future.

Of course, some of these milestones in life won’t apply to everyone and won’t happen at the same age. It’s important to understand that plans for some life events can be changed. But the goal is to have financial security throughout life.

Starting a Career

The first major life event for anyone is the first full-time job. This is a financial milestone as it is the first time having a stable income that requires budgeting.

If you haven’t already done so, this is the time to start putting some money away for retirement. You can start by investing in a retirement account that will accrue interest. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the greater your overall savings will be as interest is compounded.

The first job is also the time for most people to start paying off debt. Make a plan to ensure you can pay off as much as possible so you don’t carry that debt through the next financial life stages. And if you need help, seek some advice.

Getting Married

This is a life event that comes at different times for many people. More people, especially those living in cities, are getting married later or not at all.

Having a partner means that you can combine incomes and financial goals. It also means that you need to have conversations about those goals and budgeting for your future together.

At this point in your life, you should maximize your retirement investments to ensure a long and healthy life together.

Having Kids and Buying a House

Both of these life events are the most expensive you will encounter. These are the greatest financial decisions you will likely have to make.

Raising a child can be expensive, not to mention the cost of prenatal care. If you plan to have children, you should account for the added costs, including food, education, clothing, and healthcare.

And if you plan to pay for your child’s college education, you should invest in a 529 plan as soon as possible to make tuition more affordable.

While children can be expensive, buying a home will cost more than most people expect. Not only will you have the mortgage and property taxes, but also the cost of upkeep.

Retirement

You should think about retirement throughout your life. It’s all part of the personal financial checklist in every stage of life.

The earlier you begin investing in a retirement account, the easier this financial milestone will be.

Depending on how long you live and how early you retire, the amount you need will change. ZAR 1 million won’t go as far in retirement as you may think.

Experts advise planning for 22 years of retirement. In most cases, having at least 10 times your annual salary at the time of retirement is adequate.

Customize Your Financial Checklist

No matter when you hit these financial checklist milestones, it’s important to keep them in sight. These are all moments in life when you’ll need your best financial knowledge and advice to ensure everything goes smoothly.

You can check out our section on making and saving money to help you achieve your financial goals.