“Ask Brianna” is a Q&A column from NerdWallet for 20-somethings or anyone else starting out. She’s here to help you manage your money, find a job and pay off student loans—all the real-world stuff no one taught us how to do in college. Send your questions about post-grad life to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m upending this column’s usual question-and-answer format and posing a question of my own to the experts this week. In a couple of days, I turn 30. Besides pondering the existential stuff (Am I where I thought I’d be? Did I wear enough crop tops when I was 22?), I want to know this: What should I focus on financially in the coming decade?
Here are four tips for embracing financial adulthood.
1. STEP UP RETIREMENT SAVINGS
If you heeded advice to start saving for retirement in your 20s, look for ways now to kick it up a notch.
“If you’re just dabbling in retirement savings in your 20s, you should be maxing out by your 30s,” says Bobbi Rebell, the author of “How to Be a Financial Grownup.”
You can contribute up to $18,000 a year to a workplace plan such as a 401(k) or 403(b). If that feels unattainable, contribute at least as much as your company’s match, if offered.