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Your 40s are a turning point in your life – for many people, it’s a time where you’re at the halfway point between starting your career and retiring, when you’re settled into family life and are building wealth. 

But it’s also a critical time to start taking stock of your finances, as the decisions you make at this point can impact your future assets. Whether you’ve dabbled in financial planning before or you’re starting from scratch, here are suggestions of how you can plan for your financial future and provide security for yourself and your loved ones. 

Emergency Fund

If 2020 taught us anything it was that plans can go awry, so it’s vital that you have an emergency fund in place to protect yourself against the unexpected. The common figure to strive for is between 3- and 6-months’ worth of your monthly expenses to cover you against unforeseen job loss, a car or house repair, or some other financial challenge you might be faced with. No matter how stable you may think your financial situation is, having a savings pot put aside to protect you and your loved ones in a time of need can provide great peace of mind. 

Pension

In your 40s, retirement is something that you should be considering preparing for, as the earlier you start saving, the more you can benefit from compound interest on your savings. At this point in your career, you’ll have a better understanding of what retirement might mean to you and the age you’d like to stop working, so you can plan accordingly from a financial perspective. Pensions are one of the most effective ways to save for retirement, providing your future self with spending power, whether you’ll be without an income entirely or relying on a reduced salary. 

Funeral Plan

Your 40s may seem like too early an age to consider the details of your funeral, but when it comes to financial planning, thinking about how your loved ones will pay for your funeral when the time comes is important. Funerals can cost thousands and if you don’t have a plan in place to pay for it, a funeral can be difficult for your family to find the money for. As part of your financial planning process, you should do your research into pre-paid funeral plans which enable you to pay for your funeral in advance at today’s prices, so you don’t have to worry about inflating costs which keeps it as affordable as possible. 

Insurance

Insurance should form part of your financial planning – in particular, life insurance. This type of insurance provides a pay-out to your dependents in the event of your death which they can use to pay household expenses, mortgage or rental payments or any bills that they would ordinarily rely on your salary for. Income protection insurance can also be a worthwhile investment, which covers your expenses if you’re unable to work due to an accident or ill health. The type of insurance policy you choose depends on your individual circumstances and whether you have people relying on your income each month, so it’s worth researching the different policies available to you and which offers the best benefits for you and your family. 

Invest in Property

Buying a house doesn’t make financial sense for everyone, but if you live in an area where property is affordable and it suits your situation to do so, your 40s are a great time to get serious about saving for a deposit. In most cases, you’ll need 10% of the property price as a minimum. But the more you can save, the better position you’ll be in when it comes to choosing a property and getting a good mortgage deal. 

Final thoughts

Financial planning might seem like an overwhelming task, but you don’t need to tackle everything in this list at once in order to make a positive start in laying the foundations for your fiscal future. Your 40s are a prime time to assess where you’re at financially and it can be really beneficial to identify what your primary goals are, so you know what to work towards first. 

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