Financial priorities change with age. Consider these steps when you turn 40

Keywords - savings bank deposits, home loan balance transfer, retirement planning, long-term savings
The 40s are a crucial age. It's an age when you have worked for about 15 to 20 years. It's also an age when 15 to 20 years of service are still left. It's an age to look back on, and it's also an age to look forward. By now you have probably bought a house, and your kids are already in middle school. It's prime time to plan for your future - your kid's higher education and wedding, and of course, a smooth retirement. Forties is the right time to chalk out all your finances. Consider these steps:

Create a contingency fund: You certainly have some fixed expenses such as EMIs, household expenses, children's school fee etc. Over and above your savings and investments, always try to save some more and create an emergency fund that can support you for at least six months just in case anything unforeseen happens. It could be a loss of job or life or a health issue, medical emergency of spouse, kids or parents. Try to keep that money in liquid funds and savings bank deposits in institutions such as IDFC FIRST Bank, which give you a high-interest rate so that you can use the money whenever you need to on the face of an emergency.

Home loan balance transfer: Think you are paying a lot on EMI every month on your home loan? Consider transferring your home loan to a lender such as IDFC FIRST Bank that charges comparatively less interest on home loans. This process is called home loan balance transfer. It's easy and smooth, with minimal processing fee and quick service. If you have two home loans running in two different banks, consider consolidating your loans in one bank that provides better service. Banks such as IDFC provide doorstep service so you wouldn't even have to step out from your busy schedule. Bank officials will reach your house or office and get all the necessary things done, blazing fast.

Reduce debt burden: When you are in your 40s, strive hard towards reducing your debt burden as much as possible. Swipe your credit card as less as possible, and in case you notice that your credit card bill is reaching the sky, consider taking a personal loan to pay off your entire credit card bill once and for all. After all the interest that you pay for a personal loan is much lesser than what you pay on your credit card. Next, try to settle your personal loan as quickly as you can. If that means cutting down on your lifestyle, do so. Whenever you get lump sum money, say a hefty annual bonus, do not splurge it over an Italian vacation or an 11-seater sofa and LED TV. Instead, prepay your home loan with that as much as you can. If you finish paying off your home loan before its tenure, you will actually save what you would have otherwise paid as interest. Do not stretch your home loan repayment till post-retirement.

Invest in long-term savings: Forties is also the time to re-look at your investments. If you haven't really invested in long-term savings plans then it is high time you do so. Consider investing in mutual funds, some of which can even help you save tax under section 80C, ULIPs, insurance plans and PPF. These long-term savings will yield fruit closer to your retirement. So, for a smoother retirement planning, opt for all these. Diversify your investments, and create an eclectic portfolio. Institutions such as IDFC FIRST Bank have all such products. You can read about them on the bank's websites or even visit the bank branch and seek help. Your focus would be the best inflation-adjusted return with the chosen investment. Consider tax implications too when investing.


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