Everyone likes to benchmark their money against how others are doing – and doing so is a good way to monitor if we are on track for our financial goals.
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Most of us already have a mental calculator that ticks off milestones in our lives, like when we first applied for a driving licence, went to university or started out first job.
A wide-ranging survey in America has taken the idea one step further and asked thousands of people about their finances and come up with a lifetime map of key money moments.
Age does have something to do with the findings.
Sometimes, every generation agrees – like a good age to buy a first car is 21. Other times, the generations have a different idea, depending which end of the timeline they are standing on.
When should I?
For instance, younger generations like the idea of retiring earlier in life, but those that are ready and old enough to give up working for good now believe 60 is the best age to retire.
“Whether reaching a milestone at a certain age is realistic depends on your own personal circumstances, experts say. More importantly, you must think about how much money you need to save in order to accomplish your financial goals according to your timeline,” wealth management adviser Chantel Bonneau Stewart told the survey by financial firm Bankrate.
So, here’s a quiz. When is the ideal age for some to…
- Apply for their first credit card?
- Start saving for retirement?
- Buy their first car?
- Buy a first house?
Financial milestone target ages
The answers re:
- 22 years old for opening a credit card account
- 22 to start saving for retirement
- 21 to buy a car
- 28 to buy a house
- 61 to retire. Americans aged 73 urged younger people to wait until they are 70 to retire.
Failing to save for retirement at an early age is America’s biggest financial regret, a separate Bankrate study found.
The web site also warns anyone planning to retire early to start saving now, while planning how to quickly pay down any credit card and mortgage debt.
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