Asking the right questions is the first step to replacing avoidant behavior with action. Let's talk about 4 financial questions 35-year-old parents should ask themselves.
1. What is my credit score?
Canadians carry debt. Actually, about 71% of all Canadian families carry debt. The most common forms of debt include mortgages, car loans, lines of credit, personal loans and student debt. Given this statistic, it is easy to see how a credit score is an important thing to know.
What is it? Your credit score is a number that lenders may use to help them decide whether or not to extend you credit.
And that means that they are key indicators to help you determine whether or not or not you’ll be able to lease a vehicle or qualify for a mortgage. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s better to know your credit score than to have no idea where your credit stands. The good news is that even if your score is bad, you can take steps to improve it. Or, if your credit score is good, you can focus on maintaining it.
2. Do I have emergency savings?
You need emergency savings —no ifs, ands, or buts. That is because surprises happen – whether that is an unexpected job loss, car repair, child’s health emergency or even that visit to the vet.
Recommendations vary, but in general, most will tell you to save the equivalent of 3 to 6 months of your regular expenses. You can also aim to save 3 to 6 months of income. You’re supposed to put this money into a savings account, where it will sit gathering interest. This ensures that the money can be easily accessed in case of an emergency.
3. Am I saving enough for retirement?
Unfortunately, quite a few people aren’t. A recent poll showed that 32% of Canadians are nearing retirement without any savings.
So if you aren’t already contributing to your RRSPs and taking advantage of any employer contributions your company may offer, it’s time to start doing so.
Saving for retirement can sound daunting, but with a sound plan, its well within reach.
How much you should have saved, and how much you should be savings depends on several things including your current income, planned retirement spending, expected retirement age and life expectancy. If you are looking to build your retirement plan, a retirement calculator or financial advisor can help.
4. Do I need life insurance?
Wait, what is life insurance again?
To answer that question, ask yourself the question: do you have anyone financially dependent on you? This can include your partner, your kids, or aging parents (but not your shoe collection or video game avatar).
If you have a loved one who relies on your income to maintain their standard of living, we recommend that you get life insurance. Why?
Let’s say, for example, that you and your partner recently bought a house. You borrowed money to pay for the house and now owe monthly payments on your mortgage. When you purchased your mortgage, you probably assumed that both of you would contribute to these mortgage payments. So without you in the picture, your partner may need to make a lot of sacrifices to make these payments. And in the worst-case scenario, he or she could even lose the house. Life insurance is there to make sure this doesn’t happen.