Investing Through the Chapters of Life

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How we spend, how we save and how we invest money is unique to each of us.  Despite our differences, most of us share a similar life cycle, which impacts the decisions we make about money.

At each stage of life, a person’s goals, priorities and financial needs change.

Major life events represent significant points in time that may impact the financial decisions you make along the way.

You may want to consider the following financial strategies during each chapter of your life:

Chapter 1: Welcome to the Workforce

Congratulations on your first “real” job. It is time to create a budget to determine the lifestyle you can afford, which includes paying off student loan debt and starting a savings account to build a cash reserve. You should also begin making regular contributions to your retirement plan account fund.

Chapter 2: Job Well Done!

With your first raise or promotion, you may want to increase your retirement contributions and build up your emergency savings to help cover 3-6 months of expenses.

Chapter 3: Finding the “Right” One

If you enter into a long-term personal partnership, you may want to consider combining income and expenses and updating your budget.  Make sure your partner’s information is updated on your financial accounts, like your retirement plan account beneficiary information, insurance policies and other important documents.

If you participate in a retirement plan through the ABA Retirement Funds Program (“Program”), you can update your Program account beneficiary by logging into your account at and clicking on My Profile under your name on the top right of the screen.

Chapter 4: Oh, Baby!

The decision to have a child will impact your lifestyle. As your lifestyle changes, it’s a good time to think about increasing your life insurance and starting a college savings fund.

Chapter 5: Opportunity Knocks

If you get a job with a new employer, you may want to review your financial strategy and consider consolidating all of your employer-sponsored retirement plan accounts with your current plan to help you to manage your retirement future in one place.

Chapter 6: Headed Toward Retirement

As you get older, you may find that many of life’s major expenses, such as buying a home or expenses associated with raising your children, are behind you. With extra financial flexibility, you may want to take advantage of age-50 catch-up contributions available through your employer’s retirement plan to increase your retirement savings.

If you participate in a retirement plan through the Program, check out the myOrangeMoney bill, which you see when you log into your account, to determine if there is a disconnect between what you may want to spend and how much your estimated1 savings will generate in retirement.  myOrangeMoney also has information on how much your healthcare expenses may be in retirement.  Align your investments with — how much longer you plan to work before taking income from your retirement savings account and what you want to during your retirement years.  To help your analysis, you can get a free financial snapshot from a licensed financial professional at 844.253.8692.2

Chapter 7: Retirement! You did it!

You are now ready to rely on your lifetime of saving. You may want to review where your retirement income will be coming from and how much you can withdraw each month.  You will also want to ensure that you are taking any required minimum distributions from your retirement accounts to avoid incurring excise taxes on such amounts under IRS rules.  Consider discussing your retirement income plan with a financial professional who can also help you to determine if your retirement investments fit with your risk preference and are set up to contemplate inflation as you use your savings to provide what you’ll need each month in retirement.



1The illustrations or other information generated by the calculators are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of future results. This information does not serve, either directly or indirectly, as legal, financial or tax advice and you should always consult a qualified professional legal, financial and/or tax advisor when making decisions related to your individual tax situation.

²Financial Professionals are Investment Adviser Representatives and Registered Representatives of, and offer securities and investment advisory services through, Voya Financial Advisors, Inc. (member SIPC).


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