Financial planning for 40 year olds is all about putting a few specific things in place and then following a straight forward process to build and keep wealth.
So you have reached your 40s and now (finally) feels like the right time to start thinking about your money.
You have realised SH!T I don’t have any money and if I am NOT GOING TO WORK FOREVER, I need to get my act together now in my 40s and not later in my 50s.
If you want to figure out how to start financial planning in your 40s then read on for a few key actions.
Table of Contents
1.Right down your goals
Yes, write them down with an actual pen and paper. Very 80’s, I know. It’s the beginnings of a life plan.
Make them real by writing them down and saying them out loud. This is hopefully going to help you think through your goals.
Even better if on hearing your goals you think, Nah I don’t really want that because you have just saved yourself a lot of hassle and money on something you don’t want.
With a few goals written out, you can start to see where you want to head towards what it’s going to cost in time and money and the current gap.
Having written goals is hopefully going to prevent the drift of life.
Ever woken up and thought I can’t remember what I did last, week, month or year. OK, some of that is because you are in your 40s, but the other part might be because you didn’t really do that much (except for 2020, when not many of us did much that year).
Here are a few areas where you might have goals or things to aim for.
- Health and fitness (six-pack abbs?)
- Recreation and hobbies (that puzzle isn’t going to make itself)
- Family and Friends (OK the kids can come to Disney land also)
- Romance and Relationships (this year they will be mine!)
- Finance and net worth (this time next year we will be millionaires)
- Career and business (is this year to launch your side hustle?)
- Personal development (Ukulele fireside sing-alongs?)
- Spiritual goals (is it time for that silent retreat?)
Oh yeah and another thing, when do you want these things to happen?
Within all these potential ideas written down hopefully, a picture of your ideal lifestyle is emerging (?)
Don’t forget the big-ticket items
Lets not forget any planned or potential Big life events that might happen along the way. Get them on the list and what they might cost.
- Weddings & divorce parties
- Kids (financial dream crushers)
- The new business
- The around the world trip
- Making work optional one day! If that’s of interest?
Right, now you have a plan get to work on it. Let me know if you would like any help!
2. Put together an emergency fund
2020 has taught us that sometimes things go wrong more or less everywhere for everyone at once.
Profitable businesses go wrong; managers change, houses and cars can need repairs. All of these would be a lot easier to deal with if we had an emergency fund.
This is a stash of cash to ride out short to medium term challenges to prevent you from going into debt or financial crisis to deal with them.
Its common for this figure to be seen as 3-6 months living costs. Whether you feel more or less would be better is a personal choice considering attitude to risk and how stable you think your income is given multiple scenarios.
If you have savings, investments, and multiple income sources, then maybe less would be OK, but better be prepared than sorry.
3. Deal with your debt
Now that you are a big kid at 40, you probably have some debt.
You can have a range of types of debt, basically good and bad.
It might be called “good” debt if held against something that is an appreciating asset like a property, your education or a business.
In theory, all of these could help you to increase your wealth over time. Providing you keep the debt manageable and have a plan to deal with it once and for all.
The “bad” debt is money borrowed against things that are or have already lost their value and continue to do so.
That brand new car lost 20% of its value the second you drove it away. Those clothes, TVs, shoes, basically the stuff you buy will never reach its asking price again that you borrowed money to buy.
This is bad debt as the stuff you bought is going down in value while the debt and payments you are making for it are going up.
Get a list of all your debts and see where you think they sit in the good or bad category.
Until you get your debt under control, it will keep dragging you back. You won’t be able to create wealth with a lot of debt hanging around.
Put a plan together to get your debt under control and don’t take on any more.
If you are in debt crisis
Here are a few good sources of help:
4. Start investing in your 40s
If you are going to build real wealth, it’s unlikely to come from just saving cash. Financial planning for 40 year olds is highly likely going to see you need to understand and start investing.
Your cash savings are being eroded by inflation all the time. Much faster than you are earning interest on your savings.
Remember in you 20s what your £ $ € would buy and what it does now? Imagine this in another 20/40/60 years – yep that’s it cash savings are unlikely to make work optional any time soon.
Investing in the great companies of the world over the long-term has a much better chance of maintaining your wealth and purchasing power into the future. This is because investment in the great companies of the world has a better chance of beating inflation over the long-term.
Investing is a lot about your financial literacy, habits and actions. The more you know about each, the better investor you will be.
Investing has the potential to capture the power of the human ingenuity across the world to grow your wealth to a point where work will become optional.
A few concepts and ideas that are going to help you with your investing journey.
- Keep your costs low – it’s your money
- Take advantage of tax-efficient vehicles like pensions or ISA’s
- Understand the difference between short term declines and long-term growth.
- Understand what compound interest is and how with time it will work for you – interest on your interest, on your interest.
- Diversification – don’t put all your eggs in one company, sector or country.
5. Protect yourself from disaster
So bad things happen.
“Yeah, I know that” I hear you say “I lived through 2020.”
Now you cant stop all bad things from happening, but you can try and dampen the effects on your self and any loved ones.
The proverbial bus could run you down any day now. If it did and killed or badly injured, how would you or your loved ones cope financially?
If you die, how will your loved ones survive without your income? They may have lost of few years or decades of your expected income.
That sort of loss might be exceedingly difficult to cope with.
If you or a partner were severely injured and could work for a period or forever, how would you/they cope with caring for you with the loss of an income?
If anyone is badly affected by your passing and or loss of income, then considering some protection might be a good idea.
It might be that some of these insurances are provided through your employer, you just need to check are they providing enough for your particular circumstances.
The types of protection/insurance you might want to consider.
- Income protection if you can’t work anymore.
- Life insurance if you die
- Critical illness in cause you are diagnosed with a serious illness.
Having an emergency fund might well take away some of your money worries.
6. Plan for retirement or making work optional one day.
Yeah, your 40 so you’re likely starting to think about retirement, whatever retirement means to you. In fact, financial planning for 40 year olds is really going to need to look at what your current retirement might look like and what you need to do to make it better asap.
It could be endless cruises, part-time work or a new career. Whatever it is it’s likely to involve some sort of pivot from what you are currently doing.
Even if you “say” you never want to retire you are at some point likely to want to do whatever it is you never want to stop doing and do it differently!
Pensions are your future spending power. Its stored money or emergency for you to use when you don’t have an income anymore or a much-reduced one.
You can try and live off only a state pension if you like. That’s about £9000 in the UK a year if you qualify for the full amount. Does that sound like a comfortable lifestyle for you?
If it doesn’t, then maybe taking more interest in your workplace or personal pensions might be a good idea.
As you get older, your needs and desires are likely to change
You might well have a few highly active years. NO work and no kids around you are free to do all the things you were previously able to.
Then you might have a few slower years when jet setting about is no longer a realistic option.
And then you are going to have the slow years when you can’t or don’t want to do that much.
All of these phases require a little thinking and planning for what they might cost.
7. Create more streams of income.
If you only have one source of income-you might be a little more vulnerable than you think.
Now might be an excellent time to create a side hustle—a small project to start building another income source.
This could be using your experience, skills or interests to try and earn more income.
Could you create things that people want to have or learn about?
Is there a problem you have solved that lost of people are looking for the answer to?
Have you spotted a service that no one else is providing or that you could do better?
These are all potential ways that you could create some additional income and grow over time.
The cost of inaction
What happens if you don’t do the above?
I think you may already know that! Without financial planning taking place in your 40’s or any other age your finances now and in the future may not see you living happily ever after.
More pain, confusion, and never-ending work because you have nothing to live off without your job.
The longer the drift goes on, the more expensive, painful and risking a course correction becomes.
Summary: Financial planning for 40 year olds. 7 things to do right now to get you on the right track.
So there we have it your in your 40s and now is a great time to sort out your money. In fact, it’s going to be a lot cheaper and easier to do it now than waiting for your 50s or even later.
Here’s a summary of what actions you can take to start financial planning in your 40s.
- Right down your goals. Begin a plan for what you want your money to do for you now and in the future.
- Build an emergency fund – this will help you ride out most crises and hopefully prevent disaster.
- Deal with debt – figure out what you will do with the treacle holding back your wealth.
- Start investing – become a part owner in the great companies of the world and a share in their profits over the long term.
- Protect yourself from disaster – a few insurances in pace can help prevent it all ending in tears for those left behind.
- Plan for retirement – accept its going to happen and plan for what you would like it to look like.
- Create more sources of income – this will help you be less reliant on a day job.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on financial planning in your 40s let me know yours in the comments below.
Good luck out there.
Are you tired of living paycheque to paycheque? Never able to save? Sick of being in debt? Have no retirement savings?
Are you confused about money and all the financial options out there? Feel like you will never be able to save enough for a house, career change or retirement?
Would you like to?
- Be Debt-free
- Be confident in your money management skills and choices.
- Never have to worry about money again.
- Be building towards your most important goals – like making work optional one day!
- Build a plan to create wealth in every area of your life?
Let us help you make the most of your money now while building a financially free future.
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Contact us here for a free chat about Financial planning for 40 year olds and what options you might have for creating wealth in every area of your life.