In life, we go through many stages that require different things from us. The older we get, the more we need to start thinking about what we want for the rest of our lives, and then to start planning for that. And to secure the kind of future we want, there are certain decisions we need to consider making.
Here are 5 of the types of decisions you should consider making before the age of 35:
Buying a home vs renting – which is better for you?
The decision whether to buy your own home or to rent a place to live in is one of the biggest decisions that you will make. You need to understand the pros and cons of renting vs owning your place. Both these options have their advantages and disadvantages. With renting a home, you have more expendable money in the short term, while owning your own home is considered a long-term investment. Both these options will have a significant impact on your finances and this decision therefore needs to be a well-informed one.
How are you going to prepare for your retirement?
Unfortunately, too many people are not well prepared for their retirement. Your retirement plan determines the quality of life you will have after retiring from the workforce. That’s why it’s important to start saving for retirement early, so that you can have enough money to live from. It’s good to start saving for your retirement before you hit 30 – the longer you have to save, the more you will benefit from compound interest.
How are you going to work towards becoming debt-free?
Many people are still saddled with debt they are trying to pay off, from study loans to personal loans. It is a good idea to set yourself a goal of becoming debt free so that you can have more financial freedom in your future. A good way to start minimising your debt is by using your bonus – or any other additional income – to pay off your loans more quickly. You could also increase your monthly repayments, which will help you clear your debt ahead of schedule.
Click here to find out how successful people manage their finances.
How are you going to provide for your dependants in the future?
If you have people who depend on you, like your children or your parents, it’s important that you start planning for their security too. Will they be taken care of, should anything happen to you? Have you invested money for your children to be able to get an education? Have you planned for how you might take care of your parents? These are important aspects of your planning for the future. If you have children, it’s a good idea to start saving towards their education as early as possible, and if you have parents who depend on you, then you need to consider their future needs too.
How are you planning to keep up with the rapid pace of change in the workplace?
Another important decision you need to consider making is one that is related to your job, and that is: How will you keep up with the rapid pace of change in your workplace? While the skills you entered the workplace with may have been sufficient at the time, you need to keep in mind that changes – such as rapid technological advances – are taking place. These changes mean that you have to keep up by gaining the relevant skills.
It is important that you continue to look for learning opportunities, and that you upskill yourself so that you can cope with these changes. Many companies offer training opportunities, and some may even pay for you to study further. You can also take short courses, study part-time, or look for on-the-job training opportunities with relevant people in your organisation. This will help you keep up with a rapidly changing work environment and may provide you with growth opportunities in your career.
Planning for the future is something many of us put off until later in our lives, while it is actually something we should be prioritising now. The way you retire and live out the rest of your days is dependent on how you plan and save for it. It is never too late to start! Remember that some of the biggest decisions you need to make for your future are about your security, where you live, and the quality of life you want to have.
Not sure where to start with making these decisions?