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How goals change at different life stages

Changes are bound to happen in your life as you go through different stages in life. What you want now may not be the same as what you wanted ten years ago. People change, and so do their goals and aspirations. This is why planning and goal setting must be a part of one’s financial management.

Setting financial goals is easy. In this article, let’s explore the different financial goals for life stages, financial goals and strategy, how financial goals change over time and why you need to plan accordingly for each life stage.

Different life stages

Once you start earning, the different stages in life can be listed in the following manner:

Early career years

This stage includes people from the ages of 25-35. At this stage, you have just started working. You are fresh out of college and it’s probably the first time you have financial independence. In many cases, the income is generally not very high. Some of the most common financial goals at this stage include paying off college debt, buying a car and building savings for the future.
A lot of people avoid thinking of financial planning at this stage. However, it is very important to be mindful of your income and expenses in order to avoid problems like debt traps.

Career-building stage

This stage includes people from the ages of 35-50. The income, expenditure and overall lifestyle of individuals would have changed dramatically compared to the previous life stage. During these years, people are looking to improve their careers. Additional responsibilities come in the form of family and children.

If you were looking to buy furnishings for your rented house in the previous life stage, you are probably more interested in buying a house itself during this stage. Other goals include:
a) Higher savings and investments for the future
b) Adequate life and health insurance plans for the entire family
c) Greater contribution towards retirement fund
d) Repayment of EMIs on home loan, vehicle loan etc.

Pre-retirement years

This stage includes people from the ages of 50-60. As retirement approaches, the income of people reaches peak levels. As a result, they generally try to use their wealth for helping the family.
At this stage in life, the main financial goals are:
a) Paying for their kids’ college education and wedding costs
b) Repayment of all their debt: It is important to repay all your debts before you retire
c) Building a retirement kitty: Higher savings means greater financial independence during retirement
d) Reassessment of asset allocation: It is time to slowly transfer funds from high-risk investments to safer avenues

Post-retirement years

This stage includes people who are above 60. During this stage in life, you may not have a steady source of income. However, if health supports, you can still earn money if you wish. Many people start new businesses and indulge in part-time jobs during the early stages of retirement.

Other people may want a more laidback lifestyle. They travel to new places and pick up new hobbies to spend the time.

Proper management of savings and estate planning are some of the important financial goals at this stage in life.


Change is a natural part of life. But as an individual, it is very important to accommodate these changes financially. As you grow older, your life goals and financial goals change. That’s why it is necessary to monitor your goals from time to time and make the required changes in your financial plan.

What next?

It is natural to have different (and opposing) financial goals at each life stage. But which goal should be given the priority? Find out in the next article about the importance of prioritising goals.


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