If you're just starting out your career, and recently got your first job, you're most likely relieved to be employed. Also, if you've been living like a student -- i.e., on a tight budget -- you might feel rich. (At least until those student loans kick in.) So what should you do first, to make sure that you have the best shot at financial security down the road?
There is no shortage of reminders urging you to prepare for your retirement in advance – even in your 20s, as far in advance as you possibly can. These days, people are also considering other kinds of preparations that go beyond finances. For example, there's a move toward emotionally preparing for retirement, which seems like a good idea since new research has linked depression with retirement, especially for men.
Once the definition of success, earning $100,000 or more per year doesn't automatically mean you've made it to easy street these days. As kids in the '80s (or earlier), we might have thought that amount was akin to a million dollars, but now, a six-figure income doesn't mean as much as it used to. What happened? Inflation, for one.
When the nation's economy close to tanked five years ago, 60-somethings who lost a share of wealth in the downturn panicked, worried they were out of time to recoup. But a recent study shows that Baby Boomers are actually in pretty good shape – they've recovered most of their earnings thanks to some cushion afforded from back in the dot-com era. Gen X and even younger boomers, on the other hand, have had a tough time recuperating from the Great Recession.