As you age, your financial responsibilities multiply. From just caring for yourself, and ensuring that you keep your head above water at all times, you’ll slowly gather dependents around you in the form of a spouse, children, and of elderly relatives you have to look out for. In this piece, you’ll be introduced to four of the most important emerging financial responsibilities that you should take seriously as you enter middle age, with children to care for beneath you, and ageing parents to look after in the generation above.
You children are not only a sea-change in your lifestyle and your responsibilities: they’re expensive, too. Just raising a child in today’s America can cost a huge heap of cash – especially if you want them to get a good education and to pick up a vibrant list of hobbies and pursuits. All this means that, when you have children, you should be sure that you’re able to finance their growth and development over time. Set aside savings to pay for their life milestones, like college, and ensure that they’re always able to follow their juvenile dreams as they grow.
You may well have lived in rented accommodation for most of your life, but when you have children and settle down, it’s likely that you’ll want to buy a house instead of renting – after all, you’re tied to your location through work and through the schools that your children are attending. Moving home into a mortgaged property is itself a huge financial milestone, and once you have a place you can call your own, it’s your financial responsibility to invest in it, so that if you come to move, your property asset will have appreciated in value, making you cash as you raise your family.
When you enter middle age, your parents will be entering their old age. This is a delicate moment in your relationship, because after so many years of support and love, they’ll be looking to you for help in getting their end-of-life plans organized. This doesn’t just involve things like helping them financially, and paying for their trips when they come on vacation with you – it also means setting them up in elderly residential homes, like that at Sunrise at George Mason, where they can be comfortable and happy for the later years of their long lives.
Your property is an investment, and so are your children, who will one day provide you with cash and care when you yourself enter older age. But when it comes to your spare cash, it’s important that you invest wisely in stocks, shares and other investment holdings that you feel will gain in value as you go through life. Your cash is safer in a bank account, but it’ll accrue very little interest. It’s best to put your savings into low-risk stocks, so that you’re able to take them out, with a tidy profit, in the years to come.
These four tips are all relevant and important for middle-aged individuals looking to get to grips with their new financial responsibilities.