Are you in the glory years of your 40s?
When we think back to our childhood, we remember the excitement surrounding future milestone birthdays. The rush to become 16 or 18 and then 21 shaped our dreams; oh the parties to be had! But never ever did we daydream about the BIG 4-0 with a few kids – one that shoves Legos up his nose, a dog that chews all your shoes, a house with a basement that floods and…yes… a minivan.
Yet here we are and guess what, LIFE IS GOOD – those Legos rarely get stuck, the dog keeps your wardrobe current, you love your neighborhood and that minivan, well, who knew how life changing power doors could be??
The minivan phase of your life is on a comfortable cruise control, your kids sleep through the night, you make a good living and you are comfortable being you… so why not sit back and enjoy the ride? I say YES, take time to enjoy the ride; while the days can be long, the years pass quickly (says the person whose baby just started driving).
In that vein, while it may feel like an eternity, your kids will grow up quickly and most will want to go on to college. I am here to tell you (as the person with two kids in college and one following close behind) it ain’t cheap! Also, you won’t want to work forever. One day you will want to trade in that minivan for a convertible and enjoy the financial freedom you worked hard to achieve.
The financial decisions you make now, matter. What should you be doing?
- Do you have a will designating guardians for your children, and health care powers of attorney?
- How about life insurance, and as important, disability insurance?
- Are you living within your means and saving money on a regular basis?
- Do you carry credit card balances? What is your plan to pay them off?
- Are you contributing to a 529 plan for the kids? How is it invested?
- Are you maxing your 401(k) contributions?
- Do you know your overall asset allocation – your investment accounts’ mix of cash, stocks and bonds?
Lots of questions to discuss. Often these topics are not high on the list when the kids are finally asleep, you have a glass of wine and Netflix is calling your name. But now is the time - you don’t want an unexpected pothole in the road to total the minivan dream!
Make lots of memories but also make plans to secure your future. Enjoy your 40s (says the person on the door step of the next milestone birthday - yikes)!