Life is a constant cycle of change. That includes your finances too. As you grow older, your risk-taking capacity too tends to reduce. When you are in your 20s and 30s, your risk appetite is usually higher, given that you have a majority of your working life ahead of you. Once you hit 40, there comes a financial checkpoint after which financial security takes precedence. So, how can you check if you’re on a financially stable path after turning 40? Let’s look at some crucial financial checks you must perform at 40 to ensure your future is financially secure.
Review your health insurance coverage
Most health insurance companies require applicants above the age of 40-45 years to undergo a health check-up as part of the policy issuance process. Considering that, it is ideal for you to get health insurance coverage before you turn 40. To calculate an adequate amount for your coverage, account not just for medical expenses you are likely to incur in the future but also for inflation in medical costs. If you find your coverage to be insufficient for your needs at any point, you can boost your coverage by purchasing a super-top-up policy with the size of the base policy cover as deductible.
Reassess the size of your life insurance policy
In the case of life insurance, the higher the applicant’s entry age, the higher the policy premium tends to be. So, getting a life insurance policy when you’re young can help you save significantly on premiums. However, once you turn 40, reassess your life insurance coverage based on your financial responsibilities and the financial requirements of your dependent family members, and adjust it accordingly.
Besides this, your medical fitness also influences your life insurance premiums once you turn 40. So, review your life insurance needs at this point to decide whether or not you need to enhance your coverage.
Rebalance your investment portfolio
Another thing that needs reviewing when you turn 40 is your investment portfolio. As you get older, your risk appetite decreases, and your return expectations change. Both these aspects are indispensable to the process of wealth creation and need reassessing so that your portfolio is aligned with your changed needs and goals.
For example, when you are young, you have a longer working tenure ahead of you, which allows you to take risks. At this time, your portfolio can focus more on equity than debt. However, as you near 40, it is likely that you may have or are in the process of achieving some of your financial goals such as buying a house or a car, putting your children through school or college, or saving up for your retirement. Given that you have fewer working years remaining at this point, your risk appetite will likely reduce, and you will focus more on retaining the wealth you have accumulated. The portfolio allocation you had at 25 would not be aligned with your goals at 40. That’s why it is important to re-adjust your portfolio as per your current income, risk appetite, and remaining financial goals.
This readjustment is crucial and must be done if there is a change in your risk appetite, return expectations, or if your portfolio allocation is skewed towards a particular asset class hindering your financial goal.
Is your emergency fund sufficient?
Your emergency fund should be created based on your financial obligations. The emergency fund you need at the age of 25 will not suffice for when you are 40. This is because, with time, your responsibilities and liabilities tend to increase. As a result, the funds you need to take care of your and your family’s basic needs will also increase. So, as you grow older, make sure to review these needs, while also accounting for inflation, to adjust the size of your emergency fund accordingly.
Review your will
A will is an important document that allows you to pass your legacy to your chosen heir. With time, as your family grows and your financial situation changes, make sure to update your will regularly. Around the age of 40, your career is likely to be stable, leaving you in a better position to draft your will or update an existing one as you see fit.
As the financial landscape around you changes, you are likely to face new challenges. The key to tackling these challenges is to evolve with the times, not just personally, but also financially, with better investment and risk-mitigation strategies. Your 40s are a gateway to a stable financial future, which can be yours if you learn from your past mistakes and apply your learnings to improve your future.
Adhil Shetty is CEO of BankBazaar.com
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