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Trying to plan for the future can be anxiety inducing. You have no idea what to expect in the next 10 minutes, so how can you plan for the next 10 years?
Even though there’s no way to guarantee anything, there are a few things you can do now to ensure you have a better tomorrow.
Prepare For Your Professional Life
First impressions are everything. So before you apply for that dream job, make sure you have everything in order first. Even if you’re still in school, or you’re still years away from being ready for the professional world, start the process now. Work on your CV and have it checked by a professional in your desired field to make sure it’ll stand out in the crowd. You can also practice your interview skills with other established professionals and let them critique your performance.
If you plan to work for a top company, you have to look the part. Nice suits and tailored office wear is expensive. Start building your wardrobe now with a few classic pieces that won’t go out of style. Catch things when they go on sale and have everything tailored to fit perfectly. When you land that new position, you’ll be able to walk in confidently.
Invest Your Money Wisely
Investing and saving your money is a no-brainer. Everyone knows it’s the smart thing to do, but most people don’t know how to go about doing it. Most careers will come with a standard 401(k) that you can pay in to and cash out when you’re ready, but these days, it’s not always enough.
If you’re looking for more security, or a longer pay out, you might be more interested in a variable annuity. Annuities are growing in popularity among those looking to invest because there are so many options available, it’s easy to tailor your investment and your pay-out to your needs. If you’re not sure what your needs are, you can watch a pros and cons of variable annuities video and see if it pertains to you.
Include Your Family
Worrying about your own future is difficult, but worrying about your family’s future is terrifying. The last thing you want to do is reach retirement and realize you don’t have a plan in place for your family. Sure you may have enough to cover costs for you and your spouse after retirement, but what about your kids and grandkids?
Plan ahead by setting up a life insurance policy for you and your spouse. Make sure it’s enough to cover your funeral costs, as well as providing extra for your family. Talk about your life insurance plan with your family and make sure everyone is aware of what to do after you’re gone. It may be a tough topic to breach, but you’ll feel better knowing your family will be taken care of.
Establish Credit When You’re Young
If you’re older and already established, chances are you know this one. But if you’re young, or you have young people in your life, learning about credit is an important step. Young people, college age and below, should start their relationship with credit now, in order to reap the benefits as an adult. Sure, saving money on your utilities deposit and negotiating a mortgage may not sound that thrilling, but when you’re in the thick of it, you’re going to appreciate your good credit history.
Parents, do your high schoolers a favor and have the money talk with them now. It could save them from making some huge mistakes that you’ll probably end up paying for later.
Have a Solid Debt Management Plan
Debt is an often unavoidable and stress-inducing part of life. There are 37 million student loan borrowers with somewhere between $902 billion and $1 trillion dollars of student loan debt. Most people seeking out higher education are going to have to take out student loans in order to cover costs. If you’re one of these people, make sure you have a solid debt management plan in place. Find a loan with the lowest interest rate possible and pay more than the minimum payment every month.
Government backed loans have many repayment plans available, so be sure you find the one that best fits your situation. Whatever you do, don’t default on your loans. If you default, they can garnish your wages, take your federal benefits, or even sue you.
There’s never a perfect time to start planning for your future. But if you follow a few of these steps over the next few years, you’ll be much better off and a little less stressed in the years to come.
photo by squidish