I’m 29 years old. I have $ 1,000 in my checking account, $ 3,000 in savings, and an emergency fund of $ 20,000. Am I well financially?


I am 29 years old with $ 1,000 in my checking account, $ 3,000 in my savings, $ 25,000 in my Roth IRA (my employer does not offer retirement benefits), $ 20,000 in my emergency funds and no debt. I just started investing, I still don’t quite understand how it works, so I decided to go for a robot advisor instead of delaying my efforts.

Right now I have invested $ 500. My biggest concern is that I’m way behind in my retirement or just don’t feel like I’m doing well enough. I read how so many people saved so much and it led me to put part of my paycheck into my Roth IRA, a hundred into my robo-advising account. I haven’t added any money to my emergency fund yet – let alone my savings accounts – as I have about $ 100 left after paying the bills and utilities, as I force myself to live from paycheck to paycheck.

“My mom just applied for dental financial help and honestly I feel like the $ 3,000 I have in my savings is all I can offer.”

I just feel like I’m still not saving enough and now that the holidays are approaching I’m going to try and scavenge some money for gifts. My mom just applied for dental help and honestly I feel like the $ 3,000 I have in my savings is all I can offer.

I don’t think I’ve ever put money aside for small goals, so I’m just focusing on retirement and doing my best to catch up. My savings and emergency fund haven’t been funded lately because I am only focusing on retirement. Is this normal or should I just transfer my emergency fund of $ 20,000 to a high yield savings account and let it go? Am I well financially?

What would you advise me to do? Do I really need to talk to a financial planner like everyone else, even though I don’t think I can afford it? I just feel like I’m late or missing something and your insight would be so much appreciated.

A 29-year-old saver

You can email The Moneyist with all financial and ethical questions related to the coronavirus at [email protected], and follow Quentin Fottrell on Twitter.

Dear saver,

Retirement experts have a whole list of goals for people who are reaching life stages. This may be too much for many – indeed, many – people. Sadly, those expectations become cornerstones for people who struggle to make ends meet, pay their bills, pay their credit card debt, and put money aside for rainy days and retirement.

This goes for you, me and millions of other Americans. You’re not alone. You have come a long way and you have done it alone. Additionally, most people are far from reaching their maximum earning potential at 29, although it’s hard to put into perspective what we have at 29, 39, 49, etc. when we see it day after day.

In your 20s, contribute to a retirement account, pay off student debt, make sure you have an emergency fund for three to six months of spending, and track your monthly spending and get used to seeing where your money is going. so you can plug any hole in your budget. You do all of this and more. You even have enough to help your mother.

We all start somewhere, and where you are right now is a pretty darn good start. People in their 20s and 30s are paying off student debt – the country currently owes over $ 1.6 trillion in student loans – saving for a house and hopefully not planning to spend all of their hard-earned money on it. a $ 20,000 wedding. It’s like, and often is, a running moment just to stay still.

When we hit our 30s and 40s, it gets harder. The goalposts are high, and a lot of people feel like they’re falling behind and it’s hopeless.

When we hit our 30s and 40s, it gets harder. The goal posts are raised, and that can create paralysis for many people who feel like they are falling behind and it is hopeless. At the age of 35, Boston-based investment firm Fidelity Investments says you should have saved twice your salary. But we don’t live our lives on spreadsheets. We live in the real world.

The trick is to maintain a balance between living in the moment and knowing that there will come a time when you want to retire and have enough money to live on. Looking over your shoulder at what others have accomplished can create financial cripples and make some people give up. But every modest achievement is a mountain one has climbed.

To answer your question. Yes, you are fine. Yes, you have the right idea by saving and living below your means. Remember, more than half of Americans don’t even spend three months in a fund. And, yes, it’s a good idea to put your emergency funds in a high yield savings account, an account where there is no penalty if you choose to withdraw them, or a CD account or a money market account.

The national average interest on a savings account is around 0.06%. The Annual Percentage Return (APY) – which takes into account the interest mix – for high yield savings accounts obviously varies, as does the amount of money needed to open one.

Yes, you are fine. Yes, you have the right idea by saving and living below your means.

On MarketWatch, Harriet Edleson suggests these questions when opening such an account: “Is the rate an introductory offer?” What is the minimum balance required? What is APY? How is interest compounded? Is check writing included? What fees, if any, are associated with the account, such as using an ATM? How to put money in the account and how to withdraw it? Is the account insured?

A 401 (K) with a matching employer would be ideal, and it’s worth asking when changing jobs if the company offers one. Yet Roth accounts are suitable for people like you who are just starting out in their careers, when their salaries – and their tax brackets – are relatively low. You invest after-tax dollars, but withdraw them tax-free in retirement.

Some of the answers to your question on the Moneyist Facebook page are encouraging: “You are doing very well for your age! I recommend not telling family or friends what you have in savings, investments, retirement accounts, ”one woman wrote. Another added: “I guess you are head and shoulders above most people in your age group.”

Some, but not all, retirement reports are becoming increasingly nuanced, addressing issues like COVID-19 and a wide range of eclectic circumstances. What you are building now are your financial muscles: consistency. Keep doing what you are doing. The money you put in your retirement account will increase, and the interest on that money will also increase.

Discover the private Facebook Moneyist group, where we seek answers to life’s toughest money problems. Readers write to me with all kinds of dilemmas. Post your questions, tell me what you want to know more about, or weigh in on the latest Moneyist columns.

The Monetary regrets that he cannot answer the questions individually.

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