Understand Your Finances
Your 100-year financial plan
Learn how to navigate the financial milestones of your lifetime
Chase is sponsoring GOOD Money to help shape your financial future, at every step as you move from the haze of student debt toward the horizon of retirement. We are here to help the young and ambitious understand what the world of money is going to look like in the years ahead.
The old model of retirement is crumbling, yet there's nothing concrete to replace it. Terrifying articles suggesting that millennials save $2 million by retirement are laughable. But so is turning to a panel of financial advisors—whom don't have an answer beyond, "I don't know, what do you want your retirement to look like?" Factor in the possibility that many of us may live to be 100, and it's clear we need a fresh set of rules.
Here, we plot a new retirement plan across five key milestones.
Retirement relics say you should have the equivalent of a year's salary saved by now, but that seems unlikely when there are student loans to pay down and a social life to be had. Don't panic, but do start saving now—even as little as $25 a month can pay off handsomely in the long run.
Why not schedule an appointment with an accountant, just to get the State of the Union on your finances?
Also, now's the time to create a diverse, long-term income stream. "Money saved for the future doesn't have to be in an investment account," says Pamela Capalad, a certified financial planner and founder of Brunch & Budget, a budgeting service for millennials.
In today's freelance economy, it may make sense to focus more on passive income streams than your 401(k)—things like buying and renting out a house, or building a business and hiring people who can take over the brunt of the work.
Time to reinvent yourself. If you're not utterly passionate about your job, start switching gears to something that's more fulfilling or uses your skills in a new way. Getting excited about your job isn't just for bright, young college graduates. Remember: You may end up taking a pay cut, but the goal is to find something you love to do and do it longer. Conversely, you may start making more money than ever before.
You can always aim to shift upward—leaving the office but becoming an in-demand consultant, for example.
"If you absolutely hate your job, and you just keep thinking about making it to 62, I tell people that maybe the right answer for you would be to take a lower-paying job at age 55 and work it until 70," says Nancy Collamer, author of "Second-Act Careers." "Play around with those numbers a bit. You may end up ahead."
Remember that house you bought back in your 30s? Time to move in yourself or cash in on your investment by selling it.
Congratulations, you made it!
Tori Telfer is a Chase News contributor. Her work has appeared in Salon, Jezebel, and Chicago Magazine.