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What to Do Before 30 if You Want to Build Wealth

What to Do Before 30 if You Want to Build Wealth

August 02, 2018

Your twenties are the perfect time to save and invest.  Do it now, and you will have a great ally-time-on your side.  Think about doing the following things if you're not doing them already.

Put money into a retirement plan.  Save and invest through a 401(k), a 403(b), a Roth or Traditional Individual Retirement Account, a my RA - whatever is available to you; any taxadvantaged retirement account is better than none.  If your employer doesn't offer one, start an IRA or my RA on your own.

Consider an investment in equities. The market goes up and down, but equities offer you the potential for double-digit yearly returns.  From 1951-2016, the average yearly price return of the S&P 500 was 7.4%,and roughly every fifth year saw a gain of 23.5% or more.  Please remember, investing in equities involves risk, including the complete loss of principal.¹

Whittle away at your debts.  The less money you owe each month, the more you potentially have to save or invest.  You can "pay yourself first" with it, rather than paying those you owe first and yourself second.

Live below your means.  Living large and buying expensive "stuff" that depreciates can leave you drowning in debt.  Spending sensibly can help you grow your emergency fund, and, by extension, your net worth.

Get help from a financial advisor.  This way, you can evaluate your progress and determine how far along you are toward that first million.  Making the right decisions now could leave you wealthier in the future.


Qualified accounts such as 401ks and Traditional IRA's are accounts funded with tax deductible contributions in which any earnings are tax deferred until withdrawn, usually after retirement age. Unless certain criteria are met, IRS penalties and income taxes may apply on any withdrawals taken prior to age 59 1/2. RMDs (required minimum distributions) must generally be taken by the account holder within the year after turning 70 1/2. The Roth IRA offers tax deferral on any earnings in the account. Withdrawals from the account may be tax free, as long as they are considered qualified. Limitations and restrictions may apply. Withdrawals prior to age 59 1/2 or prior to the account being opened for 5 years, whichever is later, may result in a 10% IRS penalty tax.

The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index and cannot be invested into directly. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.