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Personal Finance

7 financial mistakes to avoid in your 40’s

7 financial mistakes to avoid in your 40’s
Conor Dever

Conor Dever

Staff Writer

They may say that 40 is the new 30 but that might be starting to mean that you're broke now too. In the third of the series we take a look at some financial potholes and pitfalls to avoid in your fifth decade.

One of the nice things about living in today's society is that we are putting less pressure on ourselves to conform to traditional standards. For instance, once upon a time in your forties you would be expected to be fully settled into a career with a house and a family.

Now though, the constraints of tradition seem to be falling to the floor.

However, one thing remains steadfast: money is a finite resource. So let's be clever with it. 

So we wanted to round up some of the common financial mistakes that people make in their forties so that you can enjoy a more stable and financially viable decade.

1) Not getting on the property ladder

While many people will be looking into this at first in their twenties we can't ignore the changing landscape of the property market over the last few years. Scarcity of supply and skyrocketing prices were bad enough, without considering the growing number of professionals now coming from oversees to live in our cities.

Things are not ideal. 

And what we have noticed over the last 15 years is that the number of people looking to buy homes between the age of 41-45 has nearly doubled.

With houses becoming so expensive as demand and prices rise, some may need longer to save for their first home, but in your forties it's time to get serious about buying a home and gaining some equity. 

While renting is becoming more and more common in Ireland, you need to think about whether this is something you'd still want to do in your fifties and sixties.  

2) Not getting serious about retirement

A pension is still the most tax-efficient and effective way to save for your retirement and when you hit your forties it's time to get serious about how you plan to provide for your future.   

If you have just turned forty and you don’t have a pension in place, relax, you can still get things done.

For starters you have over 25 years left in the workforce, which is more than enough time to make contributions to a pension plan and save for your Golden Years and ensure an enjoyable few years that are free of work.

3) Not adjusting your savings plan

If you're saving like you were in your late twenties then it’s time to make an adjustment.

You might think that the €100 you were saving into the Credit Union each month is sufficient - but now that you're in your forties you might have kids and a spouse to look after so your savings needs will have greatly changed.

If you're unsure how much you should be saving each month and for what, have a chat with a financial advisor who'll put you on the right track.  

4) Not devising a plan for your children's college education

While college is not as expensive in Ireland as in some countries, it is still a financial burden. Fees are a minimum of €3,000 a year and if your child is going to study away from home they may need help with their rent as well. 

If you have kids who are progressing through secondary school at the moment they are still likely trying to figure out who they are and what they're going to do after school ends. So whether they want to go to college, get a job, or go travelling, it’s important you know where you stand financially, even if they are unsure.

Either way, now is the time to start saving for the day they finish school. And the earlier you start the better.

Check out our savings account comparison service to see the options available.

5) Not investing wisely

As you get more financially stable and secure you'll inevitably start looking at your money for ways to diversify your savings and get better returns. And with savings rates offering little more than 2% a year these days, your money needs to work harder than ever before.   

However if this is a field you know little about it can be easy for you to make poor investment decisions. 

So whether you decide to invest some money in stocks, property or just keep it on deposit with the banks, chat to a qualified financial advisor before you make any bold decisions.  

6) Not writing a will

This is a morbid one but it has to be said.

No one wants to acknowledge their own mortality, but as you get older and start to settle down, have kids or get married, it might be time to do the responsible thing and make a plan just in case the worst happens.

If you die without making a will, you are said to die intestate, which can lead to problems of all sorts. 

And don't worry - writing a will isn't nearly as expensive or as difficult as many people think. 

7) Not reviewing your life insurance

Further to the above point, this may also be one of those things that you don’t like thinking about. However as you get older your life insurance needs will change so it's important to review your options carefully with a qualified advisor.  

If you now have young kids you may need a bigger level of cover to ensure they're financially supported should the unexpected happen. You will also need to review any private health insurance you have to make sure your dependants are covered on your plan.

However if your kids are now over 18, you could look at reducing your cover in some cases. And if you are one of those people who don’t yet have life insurance, you should probably think about getting it, as you may one day realise how important it really is.

So whether you're getting insurance for the first time or reviewing your options to get a better deal, this is the decade to take a closer look. And you can check out the best health and life insurance options on bonkers.ie right here.

Get in touch

Are you in your forties? Have you any other tips for managing your money?

Get in touch with us and let us know. Comment below, tweet us @bonkers_ie or message us on YouTube, Facebook or Instagram. 



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