Things Millennials Need to Do Before (And After) They’re 40

There’s no doubt about it: life in the past two years has been tough. We’ve faced the worst public health crisis in modern history. We’ve seen the economic devastation that’s followed. Now we’re only just beginning to get our collective bearings again.

However, if you’re a millennial, witnessing life-changing, world-altering events is, unfortunately, nothing new. After all, your formative years coincided with events both extraordinary and terrible, from the dawn of a new millennium to the beginnings of global warming.

Millennials, more than perhaps any other generation in modern history, understand life’s inevitable uncertainties and the highs and lows of human experience. But for all that life may have brought you, there are still some things that you, as a Millennial, need to know, and to do, before your turn 40 (and after).

Plan for the Future

If the world today has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. When you’re a young adult just starting out, it can be difficult to imagine yourself as a senior. You may feel as if you have all the time in the world to prepare for your golden years.

The reality, though, is that the years and decades pass far more quickly than you might think. And that’s why it’s imperative to begin planning today for the tomorrow to come.

Start Saving for Retirement

If you’re just starting out in your career, you might feel as if you have precious little income to spare — but if you don’t start saving for retirement early on, you may well find yourself running short when the time comes.

So one of the first and most important things you can do right now to ensure a long, happy, and secure retirement is to set up your retirement savings accounts now. Consulting with a financial expert, such as a certified financial planner, can help ensure you have your money in order so that you can live the retirement of your dreams.

Boost and Maintain Your Credit Score

Of all the exciting things to think about, your credit score may not be at the top of the list, but a good credit score can open a lot of doors. Literally. If you want to own a home, for instance, then healthy credit is the first step. The higher your credit score, the easier it will be to finance other major purchases as well, from securing an auto loan or payday loans to landing funding for your dream startup business. Plus, you’ll likely save thousands of dollars in interest if you keep your credit score on point. And if that’s not enough incentive, a bad credit score can even cost you a job, as an increasing number of employers now run credit checks during their applicant screening process.

The good news is that there are lots of ways to build credit. If you have student loans debt, making timely payments above the required minimums is a great place to start. Carrying a significant amount of debt, including student loan debt, can really drag down your credit, especially if the debt is long-standing.

In addition to keeping debt low and income high, you can also build your credit by maintaining one or two low-interest credit cards. The more unused available credit you carry, along with a strong history of timely payments, the better your credit will be.

Focus on Your Health

When you’re young, good health is something that’s easy to take for granted. Time catches up with all of us, but if you take steps now to prepare for the decades to come, you can not only age with grace but also with stamina and wellness.

Prioritise Self-Care

If you want to look good and feel great well into your old age, then you need to focus now on prioritising self-care. This must include maintaining a healthy sleep schedule to ensure that your mind, body, and spirit receive the rest they need to tackle the demands of daily life.

It’s also imperative to practise prevention. This must include having routing medical checkups and screenings, as well as attending to skin health. This means, for instance, taking pains to protect your skin against the sun, always wearing protective clothing and sunscreen, having routine checkups with a dermatologist, and regularly checking your skin for any significant changes.

Create an Advance Directive

When you’re young, you feel invincible, immortal — but catastrophic illnesses and injuries don’t discriminate. They can strike at any age.

Knowing that your wishes are carried out should the worst occur is important, so you need to create an advance directive. This document will ensure that your family and healthcare providers understand exactly what you want in terms both of medical treatment and the potential discontinution of treatment in circumstances that you can specify in your directive. Not only is having an advance directive a profound benefit to you, but it can also be a tremendous support for your loved ones, who will have the comfort of knowing that they are honouring your wishes.

The Takeaway

When you’re young, middle age and the golden years can seem very far away. But those years arrive far sooner than you imagine.

There are many things that you can do to prepare now for health, wealth, and happiness in the years to come. It all begins with taking steps now to manage your health and finances before you’re 40.

Indiana Lee

Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors on a regular basis. Indiana loves experiencing new things and sharing with others what she learns through her writing. You can chat with Indiana on twitter @IndianaLee3