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5 surprising practical tips for financial planning in your 30s

Pension & retirement

5 January 2022


Sarah Tory

Young family set up tent on beach

Many changes take place in your 30s, from growing your family to moving up in your career. Taking charge of your finances during this time can help you to achieve future financial success. Fairstone’s Sarah Tory takes us through 5 surprising practical tips for financial planning in your 30s.


Financial planning in your 30s

1) Set your financial goals

From a financial planning perspective, your thirties are all about getting achievable goals in place and making sure you have a realistic plan. You will likely have a combination of short and long-term goals and will need to consider the best way to save for each.

This may include milestones such as getting established on the property ladder, saving for your retirement and if you have children, you may also be focussed on saving for school fees and building additional wealth for your family.


2) Focus on your pension

No final salary pensions and no ‘jobs for life’ mean that as you enter your 30s, you could well have been in several jobs and accrued little to no pension at all. But while retirement may seem a long way off, by the end of your 30s you are likely to be nearly 20 years into your career and perhaps as little as 25 years from retirement. Therefore, you should be reviewing your pension contributions at least annually and make sure you’re increasing them as your income grows.

Retirement planning in your 30s is important to consider, financial advisers have a saying that it is ‘easier to grow into income than out’; meaning that as we earn more, we all too easily increase our spending without really thinking about it. Increasing pensions after a pay rise or bonus avoids getting used to the extra money too quickly.  If you can afford to do it, you’ll thank yourself in the end for the small sacrifices made at this age.


Retiree relaxes in chair.


3) Protect you and your loved ones

The consequences of inadequate protection could be much more devastating when you’re in your 30s and perhaps have a family and a house, so it’s important to align your protection needs to your financial plans. In terms of protection planning, income protection and a well thought out family income benefit plan could prevent serious financial hardship, as underpinning the family’s income is the cornerstone of planning at any age.

It may be too that larger mortgages are now in place and ensuring they are adequately covered is entirely sensible.


4) Keep track of your investments

As your career becomes more established and your income grows, you really need to make sure that your money is working for you.  The stock market isn’t the preserve of the old and the rich; making sure your money has a good chance of growing and keeping its spending power is important if you have funds put aside for your long-term goals. If you have investments in place already, you should be reviewing these regularly to make sure they’re still right for you and that they are in line with your goals and attitude to risk. You may also want to consider looking into short-term tax efficient savings options like ISAs.


5) Ask the financial planning experts

In your 30s, you may well be very busy with a career, children and running a home. You are probably far more cost conscious than your parents so paying for financial advice may seem like a luxury you can’t afford. And even if it was free, you might feel you don’t have time or assets to focus on it right now.

However, a good financial adviser is in essence a project manager of your assets and goals and engaging early is absolutely worth doing. It is always good to get a sense of ‘where you are right now’ and an adviser should be able to give you a really good idea. In essence, financial planning in your 30s should be all about solidifying intent, getting achievable goals in place and making sure a realistic plan is established, implemented and reviewed.

And if all of this feels just a little too much or a little too grown up; make a Will, get life cover on your debts and save as much as you possibly can into your pension.


The value of investments may fluctuate in price or value and you may get back less than the amount originally invested. Past performance is not a guide to the future. The views expressed in this publication represent those of the author and do not constitute financial advice.


Take control of your financial future

Our latest report, examines the importance of starting your financial journey early and the key financial considerations for different life stages.

No matter your age, find out how you could protect your financial future below:

Download: Changing Landscapes- Retirement is not just for the old


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