As the next generation continues to work hard & graduate college, it is important to know what the next steps may be. Some of us are going into business, engineering, law, maybe even astronauts, etc. The world is competitive and as a result, we all aim to push ourselves to be the best we can be. Sometimes determining the future can be puzzling, but with a strong mindset and doing the simple things first, the future becomes more of a journey rather than a mystery. Being in the work force for 2 ½ years now has been an eye-opening experience, it has helped me evolve as an individual as well as motivate me to build out a strong foundation. Here are a few exercises the next generation can take to take flight off the runway:
1. Create your ideal vision and set your goals! Craft your plan and stick to it!
2. Setting your comfortable cash reserves/ “sleep at night” money. Recommend opening a high yield savings account at a financial institution such as Marcus or American Express which, although lower now in response to the Federal Reserve’s emergency rate cuts, still continue to offer some of the strongest yields available.
3. Create a reasonable budget and remember to save! An easy tip is to automatically set up a weekly/monthly transfer from your checking to a savings/brokerage account. However, make sure you continue to enjoy life and treat yourself when appropriate.
4. Manage to pay bills/loan payments on time such as credit cards, any student loans, & utilities. Important to keep your debt low especially with high interest rates on loans & credit cards.
5. Open & fund a Roth IRA to start building up after tax retirement assets. With an adjusted gross income within $125,000 – you would be eligible to contribute up to $6,000. Having a mix of pre & after-tax dollars gives you options similar to having multiple pots cooking on the stove.
6. Participate in your employer sponsored retirement plan such as 401, 403b, or self-employed plan. For those of us entering into or who are in the earlier side of their career, the current contribution maximum is $19,500. By investing in retirement now, you have the potential for fantastic long-term earnings.
7. If you have a comfortable side cash reserve, invest in a liquid brokerage account. This is a great way to invest for longer term by taking some risk to seek more growth compared to your savings account
8. Invest in your career, you are your most valuable asset. Whether it is going for additional degrees, professional designations or participating in webinars/information sessions.
9. Most importantly – DO WHAT YOU LOVE TO DO! Only you know this answer, too many young individuals are working without a purpose. Life is too short to waste being unhappy. Follow your heart and you are in great hands!