Life Stages and Milestones Key to Financial Planning and Success

Life is full of achievements and highlights. Specific milestones and life stages bring on specific challenges and rewards. When it comes to financial planning, there are a few key ages and life events to keep in mind when setting the course for your financial future.

Life stages

Throughout our lives, from youth to old age, we all go through notable milestones. It’s important to understand the financial challenges and opportunities we each face as we reach specific stages in our lives. Below is a brief breakdown of some of those key points in our lives and the financial considerations they each present.

  • Newlyweds — Start saving for your first home
  • New parent or grandparent — Discover the benefits of a 529 College Savings Plan
  • Young family starting out — Life insurance can be affordable and is a must
  • Job change — How to manage your 401(k) or other retirement plans
  • Divorced or widowed — Steps to ensure you’re financially secure now
  • Contemplating retirement — Ensuring you have enough to enjoy retirement your way, and your savings are well-protected


Individual Retirement Accounts, Social Security, Medicare and 401(k) plans all have specific age guidelines to keep in mind when planning your financial future.

  • Age 50 — Catch-up contributions to IRAs and qualified retirement plans
  • Age 55 — Penalty-free distributions may be taken from 401(k) plans if retired. Catch-up contributions may be made to HSAs
  • Age 591/2— Penalty-free distributions may be taken from IRAs, qualified plans and possibly Roth IRAs
  • Age 60 — May qualify for early Social Security benefits
  • Age 65 — Apply for Medicare benefits
  • Age 66 — Full retirement age for unreduced Social Security (if born 1943-1954)
  • Age 701/2— Must start required minimum distributions from IRA

No matter what life stage you find yourself in, or what important milestone you look forward to experiencing, it’s important to be aware of and understand the financial planning steps that go along with any age. Being prepared can lead to financial confidence and security.

Prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. Copyright 2016.

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