Although everyone’s attitude toward investing and money is different, most investors share some common situations throughout their lives. The following are some major life events that most of us share, and some investment decisions that you may want to consider:

When you get your first “real” job:

  • Start a savings account to build a cash reserve.
  • Start a retirement fund and make regular monthly contributions, no matter how small.

When you get a raise:

  • Increase your contribution to your company-sponsored retirement plan.
  • Invest after-tax dollars in municipal bonds that offer tax-exempt interest.
  • Increase your cash reserves.

When you get married:

  • Determine your new investment contributions and allocations, taking into account your combined income and expenses.

When you want to buy your first house:

  • Invest some of your non-retirement savings in a short-term investment specifically for funding your down payment, closing and moving costs.

When you have a baby:

  • Increase your cash reserves.
  • Increase your life insurance.
  • Start a college fund.

When you change jobs:

  • Review your investment strategy and asset allocation to accommodate a new salary and a different benefits package.
  • Consider your distribution options for your company’s retirement savings or pension plan. You may want to roll over money into a new plan or IRA.

When all your children have moved out of the house:

  • Boost your retirement savings contributions.

When you reach 55:

  • Review your retirement-fund asset allocation to accommodate the shorter time frame for your investments.
  • Continue saving for retirement.

When you retire:

  • Carefully study the options you may have for taking money from your company retirement plan; discuss your alternatives with your financial advisor.
  • Review your combined potential income after retirement and re-allocate your investments to provide the income you need while still providing for some growth in capital to help beat inflation and fund your later years.

Read Part 1 of this article for thoughts on saving and investing that apply to most investors regardless of their stage in life.


A portion of this article was provided through the Financial Planning Association, the membership organization for the financial planning community, and brought to you by Perspective Financial Services, a local member of FPA.