It’s easy to use your age as a savings compass to point you in the right direction, but remember that you’re never too young or too old to save.
But not having a financial compass isn’t advisable.
“Not having a financial plan is actually just having a really bad plan,” Alexa von Tobel, founder and CEO of LearnVest.com in New York, told BankRate. “Every financial plan is specific to the individual, but you should look at your income and set priorities for paying off debt and saving for different needs.”
For those in their 40s, retirement should be at the forefront of their savings goals. To meet those goals, there are a few financial and retirement tips we can recommend.
Don’t give into lifestyle inflation
While we all would love to live like we’re Jay-Z and Beyonce on a yacht, we often can’t and it’s important to not fall into lifestyle inflation as you get older. Yes, you are more established in your 40s, likely with a well-paying job, and a handle on your debt, but it’s not the time to excessively improve your lifestyle and live beyond your means.
Don’t get us wrong. Treat yourself to a family vacation or small luxuries, but it’s important to not let reoccurring costs overcome you. As you eliminate debt, redistribute the monthly payments to your savings or retirement funds instead of upgrading and financing that new luxury vehicle.
Avoid panic selling
Now that you’re in your 40s, it might be easy to be tempted to panic sell when markets trend downward. Don’t panic sell because long-term investments typically do just fine. If you sell during a low, you may lose money.
If risking your money isn’t your thing, try using Save accounts. Save accounts are powered by savings and investment technology that provide much better return potential all while your deposits are FDIC insured.1
Save currently offers the Debit Invest card, which matches every qualified dollar a customer spends with a dollar of equivalent investment2 in diverse portfolios made up of stocks, bonds, and other assets accessed via ETFs.
The Debit Invest card’s annual average return potential is 2.96%3. While not an apples-to-apples comparative, Save’s Debit Invest card outperforms the best debit rewards programs. With the Discover Cashback Debit card, customers receive 1% cashback on up to $3,000 per month on their purchases, which equates out to $30. Even when looking at some cashback credit cards, like the Citi Double Cash Card, the Debit Invest card is nearly a percentage point higher or more in potential cashback in the form of investment returns.
Save’s next account to launch is the Market Savings account, which will also be FDIC insured.1 With this new account, the money you save will earn a potential return after a 12-month term. With average annual returns for the Premium account of 1.46%4 and 1.03%4 for the Core account, your chosen Save account has the potential to generate even more wealth.
Save expects their accounts to give you a return several multiples more than other high-yield interest savings accounts.
Refinance your house if mortgage rates have dropped
If your mortgage rate is higher than the average right now, you may want to consider refinancing, but make sure that you avoid refinancing to another 30-year loan—unless you want to be paying off the loan in your 70s. Just refinance for a term similar to what you already have left on your loan to save on the interest, but be sure you don’t pick a cash-out refinance because it often results in a longer loan term and higher costs.
And since your home may be among your most valuable assets, you’ll want to ensure your equity continues to rise as you make home improvements. When you are picking what project to tackle, be sure to compare the initial investment to how much value it will provide when you decide to sell.
Don’t tap into your retirement account for your kids’ college or weddings
The children will be fine. If you appropriately planned for their future by starting a 529 account in your 30s, then they’ll have the financial jumpstart needed to be supported through college. Also, there are plenty of scholarships and federal student loans they can look into when the time comes. When it comes to weddings, the COVID-19 pandemic has made elopements and smaller weddings, which mean more affordable weddings, much more acceptable.
After all, ensuring your future in your older age will only allow your children and potential future grandchildren to enjoy you in retirement and have less stress in supporting you as you age.
Maintain your emergency fund and other healthy financial habits
Having healthy financial habits is a lifestyle. It’s crucial to maintain the habits you started in your 20s and 30s throughout your 40s. Among them is maintaining your emergency fund. A hefty emergency fund will help unexpected expenses, of course, but you can also use it to fund expected expenses like your kid’s wedding or their first year of college—both of which you shouldn’t pull money out of retirement for.
This is the third post in a four-part series on how to save money and set money goals at certain ages. Read the tips for saving in you’re in your 20s and 30s, and return next month for the last post or follow Save on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram for updates.
1 To obtain FDIC-insurance coverage on your behalf, Save Advisers partners with various FDIC-insured member banks. The funds you provide will be deposited into accounts at one or more FDIC-insured partner banks. FDIC insurance coverage is limited to not more than $250,000 per qualified customer account per bank. Actual deposit insurance coverage may be lower if you have other funds deposited at the partner bank. You are responsible for determining the amount deposited in each account at the partner banks, and for monitoring the total amount of your deposits at each partner bank, to determine the extent of available FDIC insurance coverage in accordance with FDIC rules. Learn more at: https://www.fdic.gov/deposit/deposits. Only the initial funds you provide will be deposited with the partner banks and will be eligible for FDIC insurance. Market returns are held in your Save account and are not FDIC-insured, are not bank-guaranteed, and may lose value. Maximum balance and transfer limits apply. Neither Save Advisers, nor its affiliates, is a bank. Apex Clearing Corporation is a member of Securities Investor Protection Corporation (“SIPC”), formed by Congress to protect “customers” of broker-dealers and to promote public confidence in the U.S. securities markets. Customers of a SIPC Member that fails financially are afforded certain benefits under the Securities Investor Protection Act (“SIPA”). These benefits are relevant only if the broker-dealer that “carries” a customer’s account fails and is liquidated under SIPA. At Apex, your investments are protected up to a maximum of $500,000 total, including $250,000 in cash balances. Coverage limitations apply. To learn more about SIPC coverage, visit the SIPC website at www.sipc.org.
2 For each qualified spend using the Save Debit Invest card, Save buys a strategy-linked security whose investment value is equivalent to the dollar spent.
3 Average annual returns are based on hypothetical back-tested performance and are net of fees. Hypothetical back-tested performance is no guarantee of future performance and actual results will vary. Returns are subject to change daily. Minimum return will always be at least 0%. The return figures shown are for informational purposes only and are not actual customer returns. Returns shown are reflective of being invested in the Save Moderate Portfolio from 2006 to present. For more detailed information please see Hypothetical Back-testing.
4 Average annual returns are based on hypothetical back-tested performance and are net of fees. Hypothetical back-tested performance is no guarantee of future performance and actual results will vary. Returns are subject to change daily. Minimum return will always be at least 0%. Return on Savings Calculation: We assumed that the Core Bundle would appeal to the 60-79.9% percentile of the income distribution and the Premium Bundle would appeal to the 80-99.9% percentile. We then assumed that they would have the average savings account balance for that income bracket on the Market Savings account and the median transaction account balance as debit spend on the Debit Invest Card every month. From the Survey of Consumer Finance, 2019 – Core Inputs: Debit Invest Spending $2,500 per month; Savings balance $28,690. Premium Inputs: Debit Invest Spending $5,000 per month; Savings Balance $51,940. We calculated the returns on each of those products and used that to calculate the return on savings: return on debit in dollars plus return on savings in dollars divided by savings balance in dollars equals Return on Savings. All return figures shown are for informational purposes only and are not actual customer returns. For more detailed information please see Hypothetical Back-testing. Source: https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/scfindex.htm