This post was sponsored by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual). All opinions are my own. I believe in their mission and chose to work with them on this campaign because financial savviness is key to long-term success — for everyone.
Happy almost 2017! You may have noticed me talking about this financial savviness quiz over on Instagram or Facebook in the last few weeks. I have a different perspective than most in the financial arena because my husband works with numbers all day long. (I expect my 9 out of 11 performance on this quiz, though not perfect, is due to him.) The caveat is that we know we have much, much work to do with our finances. The last few years have been foggy with new houses, new babies, and new jobs. 2017 is the year we straighten up. Thanks to MassMutual, we’ve gotten a head start.
Whether you’re 24 or 31, it is sometimes hard to envision life at 58 or 73. How are you supposed to know what you’re saving for when you don’t know what life holds? This was one of the most eye-opening parts of working with MassMutual on this campaign. Stowing away cash for the future isn’t always easy when you have your eyes set on things in present day (like a new handbag or a hospital bill). I think millenials (myself included) aren’t as focused on tomorrow, as we are on today.
We did a reasonable job of contributing to our 401(k) accounts in our 20s, thanks to working for companies which offered strong matches. 401(k) accounts are easy: with direct deposit, you never actually get your paws on the cash. Padding savings accounts can be much tougher, when you have those day-to-day expenditures in front of you. However, I wish I’d read this article in my mid-20s about monthly contributions to a savings account. Let’s just say there is a VAST difference to starting your savings accounts at age 22 vs. 32. (My jaw hit the floor when I saw the numbers.)
Looking to read up some more? This to-do list for retirement is a must. 401(k) accounts are not the end-all and be-all; there are plenty of other options at your fingertips. It also provides an important guide to determining what your expenses could be in retirement. Though it feels light years away, I’ve learned in parenthood that years are fleeting. Remembering our children in this entire financial equation is fodder for an entirely separate post. It’s not just me, it’s not just my husband and me, it’s US. We want to be able to provide so much for their future as well. Starting now is a much better plan…
If you haven’t already, I really encourage you to take a peek at this quiz. Whether you get a failing score or a perfect one, your future self will thank you. The end of an old year and the start of a new one is the perfect time to re-evaluate. Many thanks to MassMutual for encouraging this shift in my thinking — and for revealing the places where we can better our financial health for the years (we hope are) ahead of us. Here’s to a 2017 with bigger and better goals!