Home > Insights > Financial Planning > Financial Planning for Families by Life Stage

Financial Planning for Families by Life Stage

Family has fun together in the kitchen

Financial Tips for Every Stage of Life

As you progress through the different stages of your life, your interests, family situation and lifestyle constantly evolve. Your financial plan should evolve as well. Here, we provide financial tips to help you navigate each stage of life. 

Childhood (Ages 0-18)

Learning strong financial habits at a young age can help children grow into financially responsible adults and be better prepared to manage their finances when they’re older. 

  • By saving money in a clear jar or piggy bank, kids can see their savings grow over time.
  • Receiving an allowance can help kids learn the importance of finding a balance between spending on themselves, saving for the future and giving to those less fortunate.
  • Taking a tour of a local bank and talking with a banker can help kids understand how savings accounts, loans and withdrawals work.  
  • Consider a custodial brokerage account, and let your child choose their own investment. Encourage them to check the account regularly to see how their account changes over time.
  • Having regular discussions with trusted adults about the difference between “needs” and “wants” can help kids learn to prioritize their spending.
  • An after-school job can help teenagers learn the value of hard work and accountability.

Early Adulthood (Ages 18-30)

Early adulthood is the time to build a strong financial foundation. Although many young adults have limited financial resources, even small steps at young age can have a big impact on their financial future.

  • Begin saving in an emergency fund. Set a goal to accumulate three to six months’ worth of living expenses.
  • Start saving for retirement as early as possible. A dollar saved as a young adult is more valuable over time than a dollar saved later in life, thanks to the power of compounding interest.
  • Prioritize paying off debt. If you carry student loan and/or credit card debt, focus on paying it off as soon as possible.
  • Open a credit card to begin building credit history. Use your credit card regularly, but be sure to completely pay off the balance every month.
  • Enroll in health, renter’s and/or disability insurance.
  • Establish legal documents, such as financial and medical powers of attorney.

Establishing a Career (Ages 30-45)

As your financial resources grow over time, so should your planning strategies.

  • Establish clear financial goals, such as buying a home, starting a family or saving for your children’s college educations.
  • Increase your retirement savings. It’s wise to direct at least 10% to 15% to your retirement accounts. Consider increasing your contributions by 1% to 2% each year and whenever you receive a raise.
  • Consider your insurance needs. A life insurance policy can help protect your family should you die unexpectedly. An umbrella policy provides additional liability coverage to protect your growing wealth.
  • Focus on growing a diversified investment portfolio that’s designed to meet your specific needs.

Pre-Retirement (Ages 45-65)

During this stage of life, it’s important to focus on implementing financial planning strategies to protect your wealth and help you achieve retirement security.

  • Consider maxing out your retirement plan contributions. Remember you can make additional catch-up contributions once you reach age 50.
  • Regularly review your investment allocation to ensure it continues to meet your ever-evolving needs and goals.
  • Plan for future healthcare costs by evaluating long-term care insurance and increasing your HSA contributions.
  • Pay off major debts, such as your mortgage.
  • Consider downsizing your home once your children have moved out. This move can allow you to put extra money toward your retirement savings.
  • Work with an attorney to establish and regularly review a comprehensive estate plan.

Retirement (Age 65+)

Congratulations, you’ve reached retirement! Now’s the time to enjoy all the hard work you’ve put in along the way to get to this point.

  • Review your investment accounts and make any necessary adjustments to help ensure your assets are well positioned to last throughout retirement.
  • Remain flexible and prepared to make changes to your financial plan as your life continues to evolve.
  • Reevaluate your estate plan on a regular basis to help ensure it continues to meet your needs and address your changing wishes.
  • Enjoy your retirement!

Remember that financial planning is a dynamic process that should be revisited often as your life and situation evolve over time. At Creative Planning, our wealth managers support clients with custom financial planning services to meet their needs at every stage of life. To discuss how we can help you plan for your current life stage, schedule a call with a member of our team.

This commentary is provided for general information purposes only, should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney/client relationship. Past performance of any market results is no assurance of future performance. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources deemed reliable but is not guaranteed.


Find out how Creative Planning can help you maximize your wealth.

Latest Articles

Ready to Get Started?

Meet with a wealth advisor near you to see if your money could be working harder for you. Receive a free, no-obligation consultation.


Prefer to discuss over the phone?