WELCOME TO OUR financial life planner, which is designed to complement our portfolio builder. The life planner’s goal: Guide you through 13 financial steps that’ll help you navigate the journey from your early adult years to retirement.
The order of those steps is debatable. For instance, should we really build up an emergency fund before stashing money in our employer’s 401(k)? When we’re first out of school, we often muddle through, taking an often-modest income and—piece by piece—stitching together a secure financial life.
One way or another, all 13 steps relate to our human capital—our income-earning ability. Thanks to the four decades of paychecks we collect, we can take on loans early in our adult life to pay for college, buy cars and purchase a home. But we should be careful not to borrow too much—and, indeed, we should strive mightily to pay off these debts by retirement. We also need to protect our human capital with an emergency fund and with health, disability and life insurance. And we should try to take a slice of each paycheck and add it to our retirement nest egg, so one day we’ll no longer need our income-earning ability—and we can quit the workforce.
This guide will, fingers crossed, help with that journey. Are you already well along in life? You might breeze through the early steps. Have further questions? Throughout the financial life planner, you’ll find links to other parts of HumbleDollar’s money guide, where you can get additional information.
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