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Is It Too Late to Get My Finances in Order?

You’re never too old to do a lot of things: fall in love, ride a bike, learn to swim. It’s also never too late to start finding your way financially. Here are six ways to change the course of your financial future starting right now.

1. Change your mindset around money.

It’s never too late to get your finances in order. Whether you’re 40, 50, 60, or already retired, you can still make smart money decisions, but the first change you’ll need to make is your mindset. People who think they’re bad with money generally tend to make poor financial decisions.

Instead, commit to an attitude of learning. Of course, you won’t become a personal finance guru overnight, but making a commitment to getting educated is a great first step.

2. Create an emergency savings fund.

Northwestern Mutual’s 2021 Planning & Progress study showed that 30% of Americans feel that having an emergency fund is their best form of financial defense. It can be a great way to avoid debt and weather the unexpected. While the recommendation for an emergency fund is to set aside three to six months of living expenses in cash, even a few hundred dollars can prevent you from taking on debt to cover an emergency.

3. Make a plan to get out of debt.

It’s hard to get your finances in order when you feel like you’re constantly treading water. But sadly, that’s what many Americans are doing when they make only the minimum payment on debts.

Creating a plan to get out of debt can increase your chances of becoming debt-free and save you money in the process. The debt snowball, which focuses on paying the smallest debt first, and debt avalanche, which focuses on the highest interest debt, are two effective strategies to consider.

4. Focus on protecting what you already have.

You wouldn’t go without insurance on your house or car, but it’s surprising how many people walk around without life insurance. A cost-effective term life insurance policy can provide financial protection and income replacement if something happens to you. Plus, you can choose a life insurance policy term, often between 10 and 30 years, that expires when you’re in a better financial position.

5. Automate your finances.

The best thing you can do for your finances is to take a set it and forget it approach. Setting up automation means when your paycheck hits your checking account, a cascade of events happens without any action from you.

You can automate debt payments, savings, investments, bill pay, and more. And the less you have to put your hands on your finances, the better off you’ll be.

6. Find an accountability partner.

Creating a financial plan is one thing, but sticking with it for the long haul is another entirely. That’s why finding an accountability partner can be helpful.

Whether it’s a family member, friend, or financial advisor, find someone you can confide in about your current financial situation without judgment. Then, ask them to check in regularly to ensure you’re staying on track with getting your finances in order.


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