The impending end of your 20s is as good a time as any to take stock of the life milestones you’ve achieved to date, identify commendable achievements upon which you can build for the future, and learn from mistakes or missed opportunities that you’d prefer to remain one-time occurrences. All nine of these early-life milestones remain within your reach, even if you’ve taken few if any steps to achieve them to date. Make it your goal to meet as many of them as you can before your 30th birthday.
1. Establish an Emergency Savings Fund
Set up an emergency savings fund capable of seeing you through a financial rough patch brought on by unexpected redundancy, unforeseen health issues, or family troubles that require your full attention (or substantial financial resources). The ideal emergency fund is sufficient to cover several months of expenses, but yours probably won’t be quite so large at first. That’s okay: As long as you set a reasonable monthly contribution and stick to it, you’ll achieve your goal eventually.
2. Hook Up with a Financial Services Partner
It’s never too early to begin working with a trusted financial services partner. Your asset base at age 25 is unlikely to be as robust as your asset base at age 55 or 65, to be sure, but hooking up with a financial partner relatively early on helps lay the groundwork for sounder financial decision-making in the years to come. Look for reputable financial services firms like Asiaciti Trust that operate in Singapore and across the Asia-Pacific region.
3. Cross at Least One “Bucket List” Travel Destination Off Your List
The concept of “bucket list” is a bit morbid; Cambridge Dictionary defines it as “a list of the things that a person would like to do or achieve before they die.”
There’s no need to wait on your bucket list until you’re of suitably advanced age, however. In particular, bucket list travel may be more adventurous during your youth, when you’re more adventurous and less risk-averse. Indulge the wilder side of your wanderlust now, before you’ve settled down.
4. Begin Contributing to a Retirement Plan
Work with your financial services partner to set up a sustainable plan to save and invest for the future. As your emergency fund, your retirement portfolio won’t immediately be sufficient to fund the lifestyle to which you’ve been accustomed for the remainder of your post-work life expectancy. But getting a head start makes reaching your financial goals that much more manageable.
5. Begin Thinking About Your Legacy (Because It’s Never Too Early)
This is another long-term goal that’s never too early to explore. There’s no downside to laying out your estate plan before your 30th birthday. If your needs or circumstances change in subsequent years, you can always modify it as you see fit. Again, look to award winning Asia Pacific based financial firms to address your planning needs.
6. Strengthen Your Relationship with Your Parents
Use your early adult years to reconnect with the two most important adults in your life, whatever your past disagreements. You never know when they’ll be gone, or when they’ll need more assistance than at present.
7. Obtain a Post-Secondary or Post-Graduate Certification to Advance Your Career
Your 30th birthday is an opportune moment to reassess the progression and direction of your career. In anticipation, obtain a relevant degree or certification likely to advance it, such as an executive MBA that to pursue while working full time.
8. Learn and Master a Skill That Has No Bearing on Your Career
Don’t allow your career to monopolize your time and attention. Devote some energy to extracurricular pursuits that have no direct bearing on your work life — perhaps a martial art, or a creative hobby such as photography, or mentoring young people.
9. Establish a Regular Fitness Routine
The benefits of regular fitness are too numerous to enumerate here, so do right by yourself and establish a fitness routine that keeps you fit and happy as you age. If you’re able to join a fitness club or group, you’ll also derive second-order benefits from increased socialization, as well.
How’s Your Pre-30 Checklist Doing?
Most young people don’t meet all nine of these milestones before their 30th birthdays. While it’s commendable, even advisable, to meet most while you’re still in your 20s, your 30th is only an arbitrary deadline. No grave consequences will ensue immediately after the clock strikes midnight on your big day.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t proceed with all appropriate haste to lay the groundwork for each of these milestones. You might enjoy the process more than you’d imagine; who’d honestly say no to a holiday worth of their “bucket list” so early in life?