Savings Milestones: Reaching Your Financial Goals by Age

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We all desire to be in a financially stable and comfortable position. However, there’s no standardised guidebook that tells us how to handle our finances or financial goals.

While ensuring your family’s financial security and daily comfort should ultimately be a top priority, it doesn’t hurt to have a store of money saved up in the bank, especially if you’re the family breadwinner. 

With many households one emergency away from being knee-deep in debt, coupled with the rising inflationary and cost-of-living rates throughout Australia and the world, it’s more important than ever to have ample savings to help you get through these difficult times and have money for retirement.

But that begs the question: how much money should you actually have in your bank account once you reach a certain age?

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A Guide By Age To Reaching Financial Goals

 

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If you’re under 30, you’re at the perfect time to get started in your saving journey. But even if you’re older, there’s no time limit for you to get started.

Let’s look into our recommended savings and financial milestones by age, as well as ways you can increase your savings.

 

Savings Milestones by Age

This part will break down an individual’s recommended savings amount as well as the age-appropriate financial behaviours of people in specific age categories.

 

1. Savings and finances by 30

At 30, you’re in the middle of your career. You should have saved up at least a year’s worth of your annual salary set aside for emergencies or retirement.

For instance, if you’re earning $75,000 a year, by the time you turn 30, you should have at least that amount saved up in your bank account. 

Furthermore, by 30 (but the younger, the better), you should have complete financial independence from your mother and father. You should be paying your own bills and insurance policies, as well as be free from any student loan debts.

If you have a family, you should be able to put your child through the education process as well as cover your dependents on insurance. Your goal should also be to secure a house or stable living arrangement.

For more information, take a look at Westpac’s guide on savings tips per age.

 

2. Savings and finances by 40

Ten years after your 30th birthday, you’ve probably progressed significantly in your career, going through at least one promotion. You may have likely bought a mortgage for your first house during this timeframe, as the average homeowner’s age is 36 years old. 

You’re also likely putting one (or more) kids through school, as well as upsizing your car and purchasing clothes and forms of entertainment for your kids.

Given the large amount of money movements this age, it’s natural for your savings to be lower than usual. Still, it should be steadily increasing at no less than three times your current income level.

 

3. Savings and finances by 50

By the time you’re 50, you’re beginning to approach retirement years. A good amount of savings you should have in your bank account or relevant funds should equate to no less than six times your current income level.

That figure provides a cushion for retirement as well as grants you the ability to adjust your investment strategies as needed. During this time, you should also maximise your retirement accounts like your superfund and make the necessary contributions for better returns in your later years.

Ideally, you should also be clear from any debt and loans like mortgages during this time. Your kids may also begin their time in the workforce whilst you are in your 50s, which can ease the financial burdens associated with being a parent. 

However, if you do decide to help them, like helping them secure a house downpayment, be sure to do so without jeopardising your own retirement savings. 

 

4. Savings and finances by 60

Welcome to the pre-retirement age! If you’re not retiring at the prime age of 60, you should finalise your retirement plans and ensure that you have sufficient funds to support your lifestyle. You’re essentially reaping what you’ve sown over the past few decades.

At this stage, you should ideally be financially comfortable. Whatever your current annual income level is, make sure that you have at least eight times that level. For instance, with an annual salary of $100,000, you should have at least $800,000 of that in savings.

This nest egg will help you cover yourself in the future for years to come, whether it be for healthcare emergencies or living expenses.

Furthermore, be ready to take your retirement income sources out of their respective channels and into your hands. If you have monthly payments like pension plans, then plan out your living situation to account for that and your savings.

For instance, downsizing one’s home is something most seniors do at this stage. They also look into updating their estate plans by consolidating their accounts. 

 

5. Savings and finances by 65

By 65 (or any time close to it), you’re officially retired. All your years of savings planning have culminated in this very moment and beyond. 

Entering this stage, you should have pulled out your passive investments and liquidated them into cash, or are planning to do so. Your retirement contributions should be officially matured at this stage. You should also ensure that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes and in a legally binding fashion.

At this age, you should have at least ten times your income saved up. You should be cleared of debt and loans—and not seek to take out any more of them. You should also actively seek to adjust your lifestyle to fit your savings amount.

 

Reaching Your Savings Goal: Tips and Suggestions

Feel that you’re struggling to keep up with these suggested saving goals? You’re not alone, saving up money can indeed be tough, especially if your ultimate goal is in the 7-digit threshold.

If you’re struggling, here are some shrewd savings tips to help you achieve your financial goals.

  • Reassess your spending habits: If you find yourself spending more in certain areas of your life, then try cutting back on it to pad up your savings. Practically speaking, this is like eating less, cancelling ongoing subscriptions, or indulging in free hobbies.
  • Increase your income: If your current job is unable to sustain you and your family’s needs, consider looking for alternative ways to boost your income. Whether it’s looking for a new job, a part-time gig, or both, there are multiple ways you can earn more—which can ultimately lead to increased savings.
  • Automate savings: Ask your employer or banking provider to automatically transfer a fraction of your income to a special savings account. This makes it easier for you to stay disciplined with your savings and not feel tempted to pull out some funds for miscellaneous purchases.
  • Focus on clearing debt: Pay off high-interest debt quickly. It’s impossible to save quickly if you have so much debt. If you have multiple debt streams, consider collating them into a single loan.
  • Instil financial literacy in the family: If you’re married with children, then let them understand the importance of money so that they can help you in your journey to wealth creation. Give them a piggy bank and reinforce their good saving habits.
  • Track and review your financial goals: A budget tracker is an exceptional way to stay on top of your finances. Use it and adjust it regularly so that you can reach your financial goals more readily.

 

If you’re falling behind with your savings, don’t feel disheartened. Many variables can wipe your savings, but it’s more than possible to slowly but surely build it up again. 

It’ll take some work on your part, but all you need is patience, discipline, grit, and knowledge to get to your desired financial goals.

Best of luck in your financial journey!



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