Whether you’re in your 30s, 70s or any age in between, everyone wants to feel financially secure. No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, Marcy Keckler, vice president of financial advice strategy at Ameriprise Financial, says there are four steps everyone can take to boost their financial confidence.
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Define your goals
Decide what’s important to you and write it down. A majority of people surveyed by Ameriprise said that writing down a financial plan boosted their confidence in the future. Keckler notes that every age group has different goals that change throughout their lives. For those in their 30s, Ameriprise says buying a home tops the list. People in their 40s are focused on a job change that would boost their earnings potential. Individuals in their 50s are most interested in celebrating and supporting their children’s accomplishments. Senior citizens in their 60s and 70s are concerned about transitioning and living in retirement.
Live within your means
Most people in the Ameriprise survey said regardless of their income, living within their means was one of the key factors that helped them feel financially confident. Keckler says when you create a budget, make sure you're clear about what is an essential expense. Save for your future as well as throwing in the fun stuff that makes you happy. She says it’s important to have a balance. Survey respondents said if money were no object, traveling was the top thing they would love to do.
Prepare for the unexpected
In your financial journey, there may be bumps in the road. Ameriprise found that the top three financial fears of individuals age 30 to 79 include health challenges, job losses, and market volatility. Keckler says being prepared can make a big difference in overcoming those obstacles. From life insurance to homeowner’s insurance: review the coverage you have in place. Make sure you have an emergency fund set aside to cover any financial surprises.
Hire a financial professional
If you need help navigating your finances, you may want to enlist the help of a financial professional. Keckler says a financial advisor can take a fresh look at your situation and help identify strategies you haven’t used yet. Across every age group, respondents said their number one financial goal was to achieve a point where they never have to worry about money.
“No matter where you are on your financial journey, it’s never too late to improve your financial situation,” says Keckler. “The life lessons of people in their 30s all the way through their 70s point to the importance of having a plan.”
Linda Bell joined FOX Business Network (FBN) in 2014 as an assignment editor. She is an award-winning writer of business and financial content. You can follow her on Twitter @lindanbell.