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Personal Finance

A retirement-planning itinerary for your 30s

By Clifton Linton
Writer, mPower

  1. Start saving for retirement now. Don't get paralyzed into inaction by thinking it's too late. You still have plenty of time to build a nice retirement nest egg.

  2. Invest aggressively. Like folks in their 20s, you should consider placing a majority, if not all, of your retirement money in stocks.

  3. Aim to contribute at least 10% of your salary to savings, both for retirement and other purposes. If 10% is too ambitious, put away at least enough to get a full company match in your 401(k) plan, if your employer offers one.

  4. Build an emergency savings fund with three to six months of salary to tide you over in the event of job loss or disability.

  5. Start saving for your child's education -- the day, he or she is born.

  6. Buy inexpensive term insurance to protect your family and assets, urges certified financial planner Donald Boegel.

  7. Open a Roth IRA as a potential source of tax-free income when you retire.

  8. Keep a long-term focus so you will be prepared to weather market cycles. Be prepared to stick with an investment strategy for at least seven to 10 years, certified financial planner and author Kay Shirley says.

  9. Pay off consumer and student loan debt. Debt is the enemy of savings, says certified financial planner and retirement education consultant Diane Savage, of Watson Wyatt Worldwide.

  10. Consider buying a house. Financial planners say mortgage debt is okay because through it you build equity and also get a tax deduction.

For a more detailed look at retirement investing in your 30s,
read our feature article.

The information provided here is intended to help you understand the general issue and does not constitute any tax, investment or legal advice. Consult your financial, tax or legal advisor regarding your own unique situation and your company's benefits representative for rules specific to your plan.
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