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    How investors of different ages should handle money

    Synopsis

    Depending on your age, find out the habits you should make friends with and those that you must steer clear of.

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    When retirement is at your doorstep, stay away from health policies that have multiple restrictions.
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    Normally, one begins earning in their 20s, some in their early 20s, some in their late 20s. When you start managing your own money, naturally you will make some mistakes, at least initially. Eventually you will learn from them as your grow and progress towards later stages of your financial life.

    Along the way, you may pick up some habits that can exact a heavy toll on your finances. Depending upon your age bracket, here are the habits you should make friends with and welcome in your life and those that you must steer clear of.

    1. The carefree 20s
    Your goals may be closer than they appear

    Make friends with...
    • Adequate health insurance for yourself, parents
    • Contingency fund to cover 6-9 months' expenses
    • Equity fund SIPs for medium- and long-term goals
    Reject requests from...
    • Spendthrift friends and colleagues who encourage you to follow suit
    • Instant personal loan offers and multiple credit cards that can lead you into a debt trap
    • Acquaintances selling 'savings' schemes with tax benefits and 'free' insurance
    2. The mid 30s and 40s
    Make hay while the sun shines during consolidation period


    Make friends with...
    • Monthly SIPs linked to financial goals like house purchase, kids' education and retirement
    • A term insurance plan to cover income, clear dues
    • Review health cover for family every five years
    Reject requests from...
    • Large mortgage and personal loans if EMIs exceed 40% of monthly salary
    • Unfettered spending on lifestyle shopping, eating out and home refurbishing
    • Knee-jerk reactions to market movements rather than sticking to asset allocation

    3. Unwinding in 50s
    Retirement at the doorstep so start getting ready


    Make friends with...
    • Gradual shift from equities towards debt
    • Clearing all outstanding loans to be debt free
    • Healthcare fund to take care of your parents
    Reject requests from...
    • Excessive focus on children's education which can impede savings for retirement
    • Health policies that have multiple restrictions. Build a corpus if you don't have a cover

    4. The golden 60s
    Caution and distrust should be your abiding principles

    Make friends with...
    • Safe options like Senior Citizens' Savings Scheme, Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana or bank FDs
    • Small 10-15% exposure to equity through funds
    • Separate kitty to finance your travel expenses
    Reject requests from...
    • Attractive opportunities offering great returns
    • Bank managers who promise tax-free returns from insurance plans
    • Relatives seeking monetary favours
    Also read: 6 bad money habits that investors should give up
    (Click here to know how to save on taxes for the financial year 2020-21.)

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