“He did it right.”
That’s the statement a family friend made after describing his son’s accomplishments. He finished college, got married, bought a house and became a father, in that order. To past generations, this is “doing it right”. So that leads me to wonder, did I do it wrong?
Of course not! I just did it differently. I am not alone either. In fact, a recent TD survey found nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) Canadians have completed or are on track to complete their life’s milestones in a different order than they originally expected. As part of Gen X, Canadians like myself (64 per cent) are more likely to choose a different order than Millennials (52 per cent).
Whatever order you do or don’t complete these milestones, it is important to set goals and put a financial plan in place. Each of these big moments in life requires planning and saving, and it’s never too early to build a financial plan and set goals for the future.
Take a look at this infographic for more information on planning for milestones that happen in their own time.
A recent TD survey found that only 39% of Canadians have properly budgeted for having a child, and only 41% had budgeted appropriately for retirement. That doesn’t surprise me, considering I did not budget for my children and my retirement plan started much later than I intended. We always think there is lots of time, but the truth is, the time goes very quickly.
If you’re at a point in your life where you’re looking to make big choices, it is important to ask yourself some key questions and then meet with a financial planner to map out a plan that is unique to your situation and aspirations.
- How do I handle multiple milestones occurring at the same time?
- Is it smarter to plan a wedding or buy a home first?
- What costs should I factor in when contemplating buying a home?
- How much do I need to save to comfortably enjoy a parental leave?
- How do I know if I’m on track to save enough for retirement?
Many Canadians who have already completed these milestones also reported having experienced unexpected costs, according to the TD survey, especially for Canadians buying a home (52 per cent) and having their first child (43 per cent). This is why it is important to appeal to someone with experience when budgeting for these milestones.
Did you follow the traditional order for life’s milestones?