A 50 Year Financial Game Plan

If you’ve ever wondered how much money you should have saved up at certain points of your life, the new issue of Money Mag gives you a nice snapshot :)

They had a whole feature recently on how you should be saving your money throughout different life stages you’re at (so your money will last longer in retirement), and I thought I’d share the pieces of it below in case you find it as interesting as I did. Even if it’s all just more fluffy advice that may or may not pertain to your specific situation, haha… but either way, I don’t think you could go that wrong by following suit. Especially if you like knowing what’s good to do in more general terms with finances.

Here’s how Money Mag thinks we can stay on track:

  • Age 22: You should be contributing at LEAST 3% of your salary into your company’s 401(k) plan.  Even better if you put in more and your employer matches over that 3% line!
  • Age 25: Start socking away $150/mo, and push it up with every raise (I totally agree – esp to avoid that lifestyle inflation AND before you start missing any new money hitting your account ;))
  • Age 27: Now that you’re probably on to job #3 within the last 5 years (the average according to Money), make sure you’re rolling over your original 401(k)s or at least putting them into a main IRA account.  Whatever you do, DO NOT CASH THEM OUT! Mainly because it hurts your retirement funding in the long run, but also because you’ll then get hit with a TON of penalties and fees for withdrawing too early. Better to avoid the whole thing if possible.
  • Age 30: You should now have ½ your yearly salary saved up through all your retirement accounts.  (Looking back to my 30th birthday Net Worth Update (December of ‘09), looks like I had $137,181 saved up! 2x my-then salary – woohoo!)
  • Age 31: Make sure you’re negotiating your next big promotions that you tend to get around this stage of your career… something I used to suck at :(
  • Age 34: If you’re thinking of taking time off to raise your kids, keep in mind you’ll need to increase savings to 17% to get back on top once you’re at work again (up from the 13% of salary they say you should be doing at this point).  They also recommend maxing out a Spousal IRA during these times which comes out to $5k every year you decide to take off.
  • Age 35: As you start investing outside of your 401(k), it’s now a good idea to pick up index funds to help limit your fees going forward.
  • Age 40: You should now have 2x your annual salary saved up within your retirement funds. (That’s 4x what you needed to have 10 years ago when you were 30 – yikes!)
  • Age 42:  Stop putting on pounds and start working out (I know – sounds random here, but I guess in the long term you save more money by staying fit?)
  • Age 45: Refinance your 30-year mortgage if you haven’t done so already (And in this day in age, you might have already done it like 3 times! Haha…)
  • Age 50: You should now have a good 4.5x your salary saved up (or 3.5x if you plan on working ‘till you’re 70), and are now eligible to make catch-up contributions of $5,000 into your 401(k) plan (and an additional $1k in your IRAs).  Also apparently now is a good time to start buying used cars over new ones every 5 years and then invest your savings… but I say do that from day #1!
  • Age 58: Discourage kids from moving back home for long – you need to focus on finances (Not only does that sound a lot easier that it probably is, but why NOW do you need to focus on finances? Haven’t you already been doing that for the past 40 years according to this plan? Jeesh.)
  • Age 60: You should now have 8.1x your pay saved up. (Why the 0.1 I don’t know ;))
  • Age 62: Wait to collect Social Security! Your benefit will grow 8% each year you delay up until you hit 70. (IF there’s any money left ;))
  • Age 63: Downsize to cut housing expenses like taxes, insurance, and upkeep (I plan on doing that wayyyyy sooner than my 60s… maybe even in the next year?
  • Age 65: Try and work 2 more years at a desk, or part-time job. The chances you won’t run out of money in retirement would then get bumped up from 70% to 85%.
  • Age 67: If you squeeze in 1 more work year, your odds of money lasting will now increase to 90%.
  • Age 70: Register for a home swap at HomeExchange.com to save on travel.  (I don’t know why you have to wait until 70 to take advantage of that, though?)

So there you have it.  A bunch of milestones to hit over your next XX years depending on how old you are right now :)  If this site sticks around for another 40 years, perhaps I’ll make an update with every notch we hit? Haha… Think the internet will still be around then too? ;)

How are you guys doing according to this timeline?  And how OLD are you anyways if you don’t mind me asking?  I sometimes forget that a handful of you fall way under (and over) my target audience of 20s and 30s here, so I’m super curious to see the range of ages now reading this site :) The other day we made a Justin Timberlake reference w/ those new budgeting t-shirts we made, and it never occurred to me that some of y’all wouldn’t get it!  Which is actually kinda cool too, in that so many DIFFERENT ages and people come to this site – I like it. Money doesn’t discriminate between ages anyways, so if you’re good at it at 16, you can be good at it at 60! And I think all of y’all are headed into that right direction just by following finance blogs already :)

So give yourself a hearty pat on the back, even if you don’t feel like telling me how old you are today :)  I’ve got nothing but love for ya as long as you keep on paying attention to that money!

(Photo by LifeSupercharger)

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  1. Alex April 2, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    I won’t lie but thats a weak article… 8.1x your salary…. it doesn’t mention inflation.
    Im 27 but have saved like Im 40 (maybe I should take a break :P )

  2. Matt April 2, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    Yeah, that’s not an aggressive plan at all. I couldn’t sleep at night with that plan (mainly because I would be up all night thinking about working until 67 or 68…no friggin way)

  3. Sense April 2, 2012 at 7:35 AM

    Yeah, I didn’t start my first job until I was 26. And I had student loans and school debt so barely any savings was going on. These kinds of articles always depress me–I’m doing the best I can!! My stupid retirement funds (vanguard, I thought they were good?!) have been the same value (or declining) for 3 years straight now. Plus, where in there do you save up for a house down payment so you can refinance your mortgage later? a wedding? Europe trip?! I’m sorely behind at 33.

  4. Frugal Fries April 2, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    I’m a 24-year-old lady and I just graduated with my Masters when I was 23! So I am totally late to the game, ahhh :(

    Fully confident I can catch up though.

  5. I Am 1 Percent April 2, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    i’m 34 and my wife is 31. We bring in well over 400k in income, have 700k in retirement, $1m in real estate, and 150k in cash. we have about 900k in liaibilties, though.

  6. Shondellclarke April 2, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    I was thinking the same thing Sense! It doesn’t mention getting out of student loan debt, or saving for a down payment. If a company is giving any matching options, it should be maxed out. When I had this opportunity, I took full advantage of it.

    I also think 31 is way to late to start negotiating big promotions. This could be done much sooner, depending on your experience, education and how well you can sell yourself.

  7. Michelle April 2, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    I’m only 22, so I’m pretty much on track. I wonder where I’ll be 50 years from now!

  8. Mercedes April 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    at 28 I think I’m on track according to this. of course I am only on job #2 of the 3 they think I would have had by now. But I have been socking away a lot more than the $150 a month they were suggesting at 25 years old. I’m poised to hit the 30 year goal of 50% of my yearly salary in retirement accounts around summer time.

  9. Emmy April 2, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Eeek! I have some catching up to do – it’s a good thing I’m only 25 so it’s not like I’m SUPER SUPER SUPER behind!

  10. Emily @ evolvingPF April 2, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Wow, this is the first article I’ve ever seen on net worth milestones that I actually seem to be meeting – therefore I think it’s not aggressive enough! My husband and I are 26 and we have about 2/3 of our yearly salary saved in IRAs. We’ve never had access to 401(k)s so no match possible and no rollovers necessary but we’ve always saved at least 10%. Why do they suggest 3% to start and not 10% or more??

    Of course, we should be making a lot more money by the time we’re 30 so we might not have half a year’s salary saved when we get to that stage.

  11. Aaron April 2, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    37 sir – and we’re a little behind what we should be doing at our age. Got to get with it! :)

  12. J. Money April 2, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Thanks for sharing so far everyone, this is great! Love learnin’ more about ya – we’re all on such different phases of our lives, it’s awesome :)

    @Alex – Nice! So you’ll be retired at 40 when you’ve been saving like your 70 ;) Keep going!
    @Matt – Yeah, they def. assume you’ll be working well into your late 60’s here. Which only means it’s time to hustle even MORE so you can cut out early :)
    @Sense – Don’t get down on yourself Sense – keep up that passion! The article def. doesn’t cover everything, or everyone’s situations, but doing the best you can is PERFECT – what else can you do? :) I think it’ll just be a matter of time until things speed up for you over there – we’re all in different phases and once it starts snowballing you’ll be set sooner than later. Keep workin’ it, girl!
    @Frugal Fries – Oh yeah – you’ll hit the savings a lot faster too w/ that Masters than without, so well done!
    @I Am 1 Percent – Nice! Wow. Do you have a solid goal in mind as far as what $$ you want to hit at a certain point? Or you just killin’ it now so you’ll be totally set later – whenever you decide it’s time to stop working?
    @Shondellclarke – That’s true – if you get into the good habit of negotiating well early on, you’ll get way more confident down the road too (which equals more chances of getting those good salaries or bonuses/etc). I remember once talking w/ a coworker who literally did the exact same thing that I did, but was making $5k more a year at the time (which was a huge % since we were both entry-level). When I asked her how the heck she got it, she just said “I asked!” I was shocked. But you can’t get something w/out asking for it at least, so I learned that lesson pretty fast! :)
    @Michelle – Great! Congrats :) You’ll be able to do whatever the hell you WANT to do in 50 years – cuz you’ll have total freedom if you keep that up, baby!
    @Mercedes – Woohoo!! That’s awesome, way to save!! And way to be more loyal to your company than most of us are, haha…
    @Emmy – 25 is a great age too – enjoy it all, my friend! :)
    @Emily @ evolvingPF – It’s def. an interesting game plan, that’s for sure – I think it’s kept more simplified to give people a generalized idea and so they won’t freak out all the way, haha… I think it’s def. smart to be as aggressive as you can for sure – even if you back of more down the road. We’ll have both good and bad years in this lifetime, so best to take advantage of those good ones and save save save when you can!
    @Aaron – Well rockin’ that blog definitely helps with that! :)

  13. Edward Antrobus April 2, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    I should be “negotiating my next big promotions” Umm, yeah. Still working on getting a non temporary job. Even though we are nowhere close to where the article says we should be, we are pretty close to where we actually should be. Of course, it helps that while others fear about affording retirement, my big retirement fear is that I will have to retire at all!

  14. alana April 2, 2012 at 10:12 AM

    age 28 with just under 4x my annual salary saved. Compound interest, such a beautiful thing!

  15. Nick Simmonds April 2, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Holy shit. What the fuck 22 year old can count on having a 401(k) available and enough money to live on after saving 3%?

  16. Trinnie April 2, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    Looks like I’m right on track….turning 33 in 18 days and I’m starting to do what I ‘should’ be doing at 35. Now, considering the husband who will be 44 next month and being at the ’35,’ isn’t so good for him, but some savings and investments are better than NO investments. We’re gettin’ there, slowly but surely!

  17. Felicia April 2, 2012 at 10:21 AM

    I’m turning 22 in 2 weeks. I’m saving at least half of my earnings while I live with my parents. About to go to grad school, so that will probably drop significantly. Don’t have a 401k or and IRA, but I think I’m doing OK for now!

  18. TeacHer April 2, 2012 at 10:24 AM

    I just turned 27 and according to this I am WAY behind. This will be the first year since I started working that I will max out my Roth (if all goes according to plan) but I spent a lot of time being an idiot with my money, then paying off being an idiot. Plus, paying off student loans and a car loan. Also, I have a pension coming my way when I retire. Even if it ends up being less than what I’m promised now, it’s something to factor into my retirement plans.

    Sigh. Money :/

  19. Walnut April 2, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Just turned 25. I’m about 5k shy of having 1x my annual salary in retirement accounts. I refied my 30 yr mortgage into a 15 yr last summer…and aggressively paying down my principal. I’m marking four years with my current employer next month and have always inveested enough in the 401k to meet the company match (6% match plus they’ll toss in a bous 4% if financial goals are met.)

    I would love to see this time line add in debt payoff milestones.

  20. Nick April 2, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Very cool. I hadn’t seen this article yet, but it doesn’t surprise me that you did, since you subscribe to every magazine in the world, haha…

    Well I’m 33 and my wife is 35. “I” have almost 2 times my salary save (1.75 give or take). My wife is a SAHM since age 32 with tons of savings (3 times her highest earning year – crazy). Collectively “we” have about 2.75 times our annual salary saved. Woot!

    So I guess that makes our “money age” about 45 years old. I’ll take it. :)

  21. Jen @ Master the Art of Saving April 2, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    We’re not where we should be now, but I’ve got plans—plus I’m improving every day. Oh, I’m 30 and my honey is 33. :-)

  22. LB April 2, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    Holy Balls I am way off. I couldn’t follow that plan if someone rich in my family died. I think it’s time to change states and finish school faster. This is just sad, because this is the first day of my company completing cutting of hours directly in half. No more 401k, no benefits of any kind and the really sad part is I figured if I take ANY other job and work full time, I would make more money than I would at this one part time. How about some sad figures like that to make Monday fun.

  23. H April 2, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Thanks for the post. I’m 26 yrs old and have been working for a little less than 4 years. I have saved approx 43% of my current salary in retirement accounts (company 401Ks, Roth IRA) and another 20% in cash and stocks. At 22, I immediately started contributing 5% towards my 401k, 3% being matched after 1 year of service. After a company switch and pay increase last year, I started maxing out my 401k per IRS limits. I’d like to max out my Roth in the future, but in the meantime I’ve been building up cash reserves for emergencies/car down payment/grad school/engagement. When I hit 30 I’d like to have at least $115k in my retirement accounts and I believe the early start I got can get me there.

  24. Leigh April 2, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Wow, I am way off! I already have about 1/2 of my yearly salary saved up in my investments and I’m not 30. I’m also investing 20% of my gross income towards retirement. I guess that’s a good thing though :)

  25. Leigh April 2, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Oops, by “not 30”, I meant “under 30” :)

  26. Brian April 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    I’m 31 and my old lady turns 30 in June… So far we are ahead of “schedule” according to the above. We are planning on getting more aggressive since we think we might want to get out of the rat race a little early, but we shall see if life gets in the way.

  27. Jessi @ PracticallyFunctional April 2, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    I’m 25 and I’ve got the first two covered I think. I’m contributing 7.5% to my 401k cuz that’s how much my employer will match (crazy right?!) but I’m only putting $100/mo away from “after-tax” money. But I think it counts cuz my “before-tax” percentage is higher!

    I agree with some of the others that I probably want to be more aggressive than this (cuz who wouldn’t want to retire earlier!) but for now I feel pretty set. :-)

  28. aj April 2, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    Okay, it looks like I am the oldest reader you have, lol, coming in at 42 y/o…but I still got the JT reference! The song is on my ipod…good fast beat to get you moving :) Yeah.

    We are not anywhere close to where we should be but I see that our plan will get us caught up quite quickly in the future.

    Can’t change the past, all I can do is make the most of today & tomorrow.

  29. Dollar D @ The Dollar Disciple April 2, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    I’ll be 27 at the end of the month (yikes!) so maybe I should start looking for my 3rd job :)
    I hope to be well ahead of that game plan. Right now, I’m somewhere between the 30 and 40 year number but it’s hard to tell since I put most of my money into rental properties.

  30. SavvyFinancialLatina April 2, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I am only 21 and my husband 22! We will start working on retirement and more savings as soon as we get the paperwork from our first “real jobs”. My husband actually worked at Lowe’s as a cashier from 18 to 21ish, and contributed to his 401K. He only saved up about $500, but it was still $500! Thanks to the PF community, I am getting informed about personal finance!

    J.Money, I am going to share this on my blog! :)

  31. FB April 2, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    There is no way I plan on working until I am 67 its not going to happen. I am 37 and she is 34 and we I guess according to this a bit ahead of the curve as we have 2x our combined salary in retirement areas. My goal is 55 if I get there GREAT, if not 59 is the next plan.

  32. Jen April 2, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I’m 25 going on 26 — happy birthday to me!

  33. retirebyforty April 2, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I’m a bit ahead, but is 8x salary at 60 enough to retire on? I’m 38.

  34. Stephanie April 2, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    Cool, based on this I’m right on target! I turned 29 at the end of last year, and it looks like I’m on track to hit the 30-year milestone, if I haven’t done so already. I’ve actually worked with the same employer since I graduated from college, but I was promoted 3 times during that time, I was on my fourth job title the year I turned 27. :-)

  35. Nords April 2, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    When I finished my 20 years of active duty, we were just barely financially independent. Military salaries are never very high, but we banked every pay raise and promotion. We had enough to live a low-key beach-bum lifestyle, and it’ll be 10 years at the end of next month.

    I’m 51 years old now. Despite the last two recessions, I wouldn’t trade any amount of money for the last decade of retired time with family & friends… and surfing!

    Oh… and over the last decade we’ve refinanced our home mortgage six times. (The first five refis have already paid for themselves.) We’ll finally pay off the mortgage when I’m 80.

  36. Marianne April 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM

    I am 26 and we are just focusing on building wealth this year now that we are out of debt. We’ve been working hard to get our estate in order and now we are just budgeting and cutting expenses like crazy to sock money away. Last I checked our net worth was a bit over $60,000. We have a very minimal amount in retirement accounts at the moment but are working hard to increase this this year. In order for my husband and I to have half of our income saved up in 4 years (30 yo) we will have to save an additional $30,000. We are on track to do better than that barring any craziness…

  37. Leigh April 2, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    I’m 43 and I am relatively close to the outlined plan. The challenge is that my income has doubled in the past 5 years. While that’s been great, it throws off calculations for how much I should have saved by now. You can’t save what you never earned.

    To those younger, save all you possibly can. You don’t need half of what you think you do. Live lean. When you hit that tipping point where your investments start making real money, it’s a great feeling of accomplishment.

  38. Rafiki April 2, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    Almost 22 so I am technically at the first milestone and maybe even a bit ahead. Any advice that promotes saving is good advice, it won’t be the best for everyone but it is no less than good. Saving for retirement is the best thing one can do for they future self.

  39. Bridget April 2, 2012 at 10:13 PM

    I’m 26 and I don’t care about this timeline.. I also still don’t really understand all the American acronyms.

    My paycheque has 10% taken off and put away for retirement, which is matched with another 10% from my employer (yes, for 20% of my gross pay going towards retirement… at 26… I am going to be a rich old lady)

    I can’t picture myself at 50 or 60. I don’t think about it.

  40. Nicole C. April 2, 2012 at 11:00 PM

    J. , wonder if you have read the book called “your money ratios” by Charles Farrell,
    . The retirement savings to annual salary that Money Mag mentions about is very similar to Charles Farrell’s silver standard, retire at age 65 with 70% income replacement. He also suggests other 7 money ratios, in these areas: mortgage, education loan, investment (stock/bond allocation), and insurance.

    I am currently 28 years old, and I expect I have saved 0.5x annual salary in retirement savings when I turn 29. Even better if I can hit 0.6x at age 30, the gold standard, retire at age 65 with 80% income replacement.

  41. J. Money April 3, 2012 at 2:11 AM

    You guys are working your asses off over there – keep it up!! We’ll all be retired in no time :) Thanks for sharing your experiences (and ages!) with us so far, really enjoying it.

    @Edward Antrobus – What do you mean? You DO want to retire one day, or you don’t? Cuz you like working? I don’t think I’ll ever retire-retire, but I’ll def. stop doing things for money, and more so cuz I thoroughly enjoy it :)
    @alana – Work it, girl!
    @Nick Simmonds – I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not :) You don’t think a 22 year old can live off of 97% of their income? I highly doubt that. It’s more that people don’t *want* to live off of 97% of their income than they can’t. I refused to invest my money for years saying that I couldn’t afford it, but I certainly could have if I cut out a few beers here and there. Just depends on priorities really.
    @Trinnie – Yeah you are! I had no idea your husband was in his 40s??? Wow – I wanna look like him when I’m at that point!
    @Felicia – Awesome! Yes – 50% being stashed away is killer, I’m impressed :) (And congrats on going to Grad school too!)
    @TeacHer – Awwww, well I have faith in you friend :) And you’re surrounded by all kinds of wonderful people here in our PF niche! We all got your back! And pretty dope about that pension too – very rare these days.
    @Walnut – NICE!!! 15 year mortgage already by 25? That’s insanely good! I didn’t even know what a mortgage WAS at that age, haha… very impressive, sir.
    @Nick – Rock on bro! And you’re right – I’m a total magazine whore ;) Good thing I can write them off! Haha…
    @Jen @ Master the Art of Saving – That’s the key right there – You’re improving a little each day! Love it.
    @LB – Jeezzzz, sorry to hear my friend :( Def. no fun at all. At least you got some colorful adjectives over there Miss. Holy Balls! Haha.. cracked me up on that one ;)
    @H – WOAH yes – totally! You are killling it right now, way to go! At such an early age too, that’s incredible. Seriously, you’re doing so well :)
    @Leigh – Def a good thing :) I think anyone reading these blogs is much better off than others cuz it proves everyone wants to be better about things. We’re all motivating each other on :)
    @Brian – Life is funny like that huh? It’s a good thing we get all the UPS too in order to put up with the downs ;)
    @Jessi @ PracticallyFunctional – No harm in always wanting to do better, my friend :) You’re off to a great start too!
    @aj – You got it! And LOVE it that you rock some JT over there – way to be hip! Haha… and brave for sharing your age with us today – you’re awesome :)
    @Dollar D @ The Dollar Disciple – That’s dope you’ve GOT those rental properties though – I don’t trust myself enough for that, haha… and I’m pretty sure I hit like job #13 by 27 ;) I’ve been blogging more than I’ve worked at one single job before – pretty crazy!
    @SavvyFinancialLatina – Woohoo! Go for it :) The more it’s passed around, the more we all learn! Glad you liked it.
    @FB – I bet you hit it at 50 :)
    @Jen – Happy birthday!!!!!! What perfect timing for me to ask our age ;)
    @retirebyforty – According to Money Mag it is! Who knows in “real” life though since we’re all so different. Knowing you though I’m sure you can get by on it :)
    @Stephanie – Hah! Awesome! That’s pretty impressive, and much longer than I ever lasted at any of my jobs :)
    @Nords – I love it dude, you know yourself so well! :) I can only wish I’m at peace with the way things are going once I reach that level… I’m afraid I’m gonna get hardcore up in here forever, haha… my only hope is that our new baby changes my priorities :)
    @Marianne – Way to go! That’s great :) And congrats on getting out of debt, and into the positive territories now – keep it up!
    @Leigh – Amen! Appreciate you sharing your experiences with us too – we can all learn from it!
    @Rafiki – You know it! Whether you’re saving big or saving small, it all helps to grow that nest egg!
    @Bridget – Haha… you ARE gonna be a rich one! And I’m gonna join you at that beach sipping drinks when we’re nice and wrinkly too ;) We can talk about the “good ol’ days” when we were young bloggers, haha… I wonder if the internet will still be around then?
    @Nicole C. – Hey Nicole! No, I haven’t read that book yet but I’m currently starting at it in my library right now :) It’s been on my list to read for quite some time, haha… heard nothing but great things about it though, so thanks for the reminder. Keep up the great savings!

  42. Jen April 3, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    I’m turning the big 4-0 this year, and my breakdown isn’t quite on par with this…

    Savings & retirement plan: $60K
    IRA (from a previous job S&R plan): $4K
    (about $10K short of the 2x salary)

    Refi’d my mortgage to 20-year 4% interest last year, currently owe $77K.
    Used car loan at 2.9%, currently owe $9K
    Student loans at 6.5%, currently owe $11K
    Lingering credit card debt (boo) at 11%, currently owe $1,700. Tax refund went straight to this, and I’m expecting some $$ to help bring this down further. It WILL be paid off this year!

    And I’m trying to save for a trip to the UK next April – $300/month, because the cost will run about $3K if I hit all 4 countries.

    I still worry that I won’t be out of debt (literally all debt, including the mortgage) by the time I’m 60. I should be if I stay on track, and I’ve only improved every year since I got on the PF bandwagon…it’s just discouraging when you think you’re ahead, and the car gives up the ghost. Next up will probably be the fridge and/or the washer/dryer combo. *sigh*

  43. MoneySmartGuides April 3, 2012 at 2:17 PM

    I think that once out of college you should save as much as you possibly can, i.e. live like you are still in college. The extra time will allow your money to compound more, leading to more money.

  44. Laura April 3, 2012 at 8:53 PM

    I kinda love and hate articles like this :)

    My husband and I are NO WHERE near where it says we should be at 30 & 31. We have had our share of situations that maybe kept us from being where many people our age our (husband is on his second post-doc and our 3rd move) on top of that we are about to be parents so its not likely there will be dramatic changes for us in the near future. Well not dramatic POSITIVE money changes, ha! One thing about our situation that might be a bit different is that I know my husband LOVES what he does and with that comes the fact that it isn’t because of what he gets paid to do it. I know he would pick passion for his work over a bigger paycheck every time and I support that. I kinda doubt that he would want to retire early so that is a good thing in our case :) With all that said, this is a good reminder for us to bump things up where we can and take it as some encouragement and not get down about not meeting some criteria.

  45. rae April 3, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    If you were 30 in 2009, your profile page is a little outdated (states you are late 20s…)
    Also, sounds like you are around 33-ish, care to post your thoughts on starting a family “later” in life.
    I’m 27, way above where I should be now according to this magazine’s post, hubby is still growing his career so we have options for a family in the next 3 years.
    What are your thoughts of starting after 30? Any suggestions about the trials and pain that come with trying to start a family and how that relates to your financial planning?

  46. C The Writer April 3, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Um, I’m not sure what happened. I left a comment here and now it’s gone?

    Anyway…what about people who aren’t in careers making a lot of money? This “plan” doesn’t really take into account that some people earn $8/hour.

  47. Chris from DC April 4, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Just turned 24 and I’m already accomplishing the yr. 25 milestone.

    Technically I’m 2/3 of the way into the 27 yr step as well since my former company got bought out at almost exactly my 1 year point at company 1….now everything is changing over.

    Guess I’ll start working on 30 ;)

  48. J. Money April 4, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    @Jen – You’re def. on track now :) So awesome if you can pay off that card this year and snowball that $$ into the other departments! I’ll send over some happy thoughts that nothing too major blows up beforehand for ya ;)
    @MoneySmartGuides – Oh yeah, you’re right on that one! Only problem is you usually get your first real apartment and bills then too – which sucks out a major part right from the beginning. But if you can work it and slowly easy more into that, then yeah – you’d def. be better off (financially) in the long run.
    @Laura – Congrats on being a new parent soon! When is he/she due? We’re super excited for ours to come out in July, but man – have no idea what to expect in the money dept there, hehe… I’m glad your husband found something he really enjoys! A lot of people can’t say that :)
    @rae – Hey Rae :) Sure, I can tell you that it’s a lot easier financially to start having a family later in life than before, that’s for sure – at least in our cases. 4-5 years ago we were just doing enough to get by and not really paying attention much to our finances, which would have made things a bit more scary for us in that case. On the other hand, I feel like the longer you wait, the more you get INTO your career and are really taking off, so the idea of stopping or pausing for a bit while you have a kid, and then easing back into it gets a bit trickier. At least those are the thoughts going on in my head right now… like, better to be a workaholic later in life than earlier while trying to raise your kids :) I also must add that as a guy, in his 30s, I’m a LOT more reserved than I was in my 20s – esp with going out and partying and all that kinda stuff, so that prob. makes it easier/better to have kids too, haha… but I’m sure I would have curbed my ways had we got pregnant much earlier on ;)
    @C The Writer – Yikes – sorry! Not sure what happened to it – I checked spam and other folders but wasn’t there either :( Thanks for trying again! And you’re right, this timeline doesn’t really address those who are making the same, and at a lower rate, the entire time. But I think that’s also the point — people always need to be striving to improve and learn/make more so that they CAN end up saving more and paying off debt/etc etc. Although I will say this – If you’ve managed to get by on $8/hour your entire life, then you obvoiusly don’t NEED a ton more to survive since you’ve mastered it at that point ;) Barring any major catastrophies really. But in my honest opinion, I’d do whatever it took to bring in more money as the years go by so you can live a much more free and stressless life – even if it’s hard as hell to get started on that.
    @Chris from DC – Go for it brotha! And I wave hi to you here in the DC area too :)

  49. Jessica @ Faith Permeating Life April 4, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    I am a few days behind on commenting but wanted to jump in the conversation regardless! I’m 26 and I’m in way better shape financially than many people I know — I’m contributing 10% of my salary to my 403(b) and putting away around $200/month into savings. What’s frustrating to me is that my husband and I live pretty frugally and we really only have a few big life goals — adopting kids, buying land, and building our own house. But I feel like we are still WAY far away from being able to afford those things, partly because we both work in low-paying fields (education and food service). We are both going to ask for raises this year, so wish us luck! :)

  50. Against the rat race April 5, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    24….. This article PROMOTES the so called rat race!! This financial life seems extremely boring & stressful. We should NOT strive to live like mediocre people, just seeing each & every day pass us by. I see 0 dreams, ambition, passion, hard work, risks (and rewards), creativity, experience. I am aware that it is a “budget” article and not a life story one but still, come on! Live a little!

  51. J. Money April 9, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    @Jessica @ Faith Permeating Life – Goooood luck!!! You can do it!! And I LOVE those 3 goals btw, they’re 3 that are on our master list too, hehe… great minds ;)
    @Against the rat race – Haha…. so you’re saying you can’t meet any of these goals up there and still live a nice life? I might have to disagree with you there ;) But I do see your point – no use in saving and getting hardcore about money for 60 years only to spend the last part of your life enjoying it. I think there’s def. a happy medium there that can be done.