5 Financial Moves to Make in Your 30s

iQuanti: Your 20s were a time to make money mistakes, learn valuable lessons, and get back on your feet. Now that you're in your 30s, your financial responsibilities may have solidified a little bit more. Maybe you have a higher salary. You might be juggling a family, mortgage, and student loans. Retirement is far off still, but it may be on your radar now.

As things get more complex, there are a few ways to get ahead and set yourself up for financial success in this decade and beyond. So, in this article, we'll dive into five financial moves to make in your 30s.

1. Set your retirement goals

Whether or not you set retirement goals in your 20s, things change in your 30s. So, it's smart to spend time thinking about your retirement goals. This is vital because, in retirement, you must make your assets last the rest of your life and hopefully have money left to pass to heirs.

Think about how much you'd like to live on per year and what accounts and assets you'll draw on. Consider the tax consequences of each account you have as well. This will help you approximate the amount you must save to live the retirement you want.

2. Get a life insurance policy

Life insurance can be an excellent investment in your 30s, especially if you're starting a family. It protects your loved ones by paying a death benefit if you pass away. They can use this to help replace your income and pay off debts. Plus, life insurance costs less the earlier you get a policy. Buying one now could help you lock in the lowest premiums. While there are many types of policies, here are just some of the types of life policies you might want to consider:

Term life insurance

Term life insurance is a temporary life policy that can provide you with affordable coverage. A term life policy can typically range from 10 to 30 years and will give loved ones a death benefit payout to cover expenses if you pass away while the policy is in force. Keep in mind that once the policy expires, you'll have to renew it or get a new policy to continue your coverage.

Final expense insurance

Final expense life insurance is a type of permanent life insurance with no medical exam or waiting period. It is designed for end-of-life costs, such as funeral expenses, so the death benefit is smaller than a traditional whole life insurance policy. However, premiums are also much lower. 

Final expense insurance also comes with a cash value growth component. Part of your premiums go into this component, which grows tax-deferred at a fixed rate. When it grows enough, you can withdraw or borrow from it with favorable loan terms. You get the cash value minus surrender charges if you surrender the policy.

Guaranteed issue life insurance

Guaranteed issue life insurance is another type of small whole life insurance with no medical exam. So, it also has a small death benefit, lifelong coverage, low premiums, and cash value. The difference is that it guarantees approval, making it one of the fastest and easiest policies to get. However, it may have a one to two-year lockout period. If you pass away during the lockout, your beneficiaries might only get a refund of your premiums.

3. Invest aggressively

Many people begin to earn a lot more in their 30s, yet they're still far away from retirement. If your income increases, try to avoid increasing your lifestyle expenses and instead invest more aggressively.

If you're already maxing your workplace contributions, consider opening a traditional or Roth IRA to increase your retirement savings. After that, look to other tax-advantaged accounts like:

  • Health savings accounts: These help people with high-deductible health plans invest money tax-deferred and spend money tax-free on qualifying medical expenses.
  • 529 plans: These help you save for your children's college expenses.

Finally, consider opening a taxable brokerage account if you still have funds to invest. These have few, if any, restrictions on investment choice and withdrawals, but there may be more tax consequences.

4. Work on your credit score

An established credit history with a strong score helps you get mortgages, auto loans, and credit cards at the best rates. It'll also help you refinance these down the line. A high credit score may even help you rent an apartment and, in some fields, get a job. Here are some quick tips to improve your credit score:

  • Pay all of your loans and credit cards on time.
  • Use your credit cards regularly, but keep balances low compared to your credit limits.
  • Don't close older credit cards.
  • Apply for new credit no more than once every six months.

5. Increase your human capital

Now that you're likely earning more, invest some of your salary in professional development. Sign up for classes that can teach career-related skills and, if possible, see if your employer will reimburse you for any of these courses.

Learning these new skills can help you negotiate a raise or promotion at work. Or, if your employer doesn't reimburse you or give you a raise, you will have more to show off to other employers, helping you land a higher-paying job elsewhere.

The bottom line

Your 30s bring new financial challenges, from family to a mortgage to saving for your children's college. Making a few key moves can help you handle these more easily and position you for success through the rest of the decade and beyond.

Iron out your retirement goals, then consider getting a life insurance policy to protect your loved ones. Once you do those two things, avoid lifestyle inflation and increase your investments as much as you can comfortably afford. While you up your financial investments, invest in your professional development and work on building your credit score. Honing in on these in your 30s will make you feel more financially secure today and throughout your life.

Source: iQuanti