40 Financial Things You Should Know by Age 40

Too old to be financially clueless, too young to be tapping into your retirement savings. Here's what you should know by 40

by Alden Wicker • LearnVest.com
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Photograph: Taina Sohlman/Shutterstock.com

7.     Your credit score. Still not familiar with this number? Afraid to look? Here’s why, by 40, you should know it cold. Your credit score determines not only what kind of credit cards you’ll get approved for but also how expensive your mortgage and car loan would be. Learn how to monitor and improve your credit score here. Speaking of …

8.     How to pull a free credit report. Voilà.

9.     It can take a long time to save up a down payment. When it comes to buying a house, “People always say, ‘Get in as soon as you can,’ and ‘It’s O.K. to be house poor.’ But before buying a house, you should be financially stable. If that’s not until your 30s or 40s, that’s O.K. So many people have rushed in, and then they can’t handle the payments,” says Taylor. Find out how much house you can afford.

10.What is a financial emergency and what’s not. Sure, it may have been cute to splurge on shoes and come up short on rent when you were 22. By 40, you ought to know what it feels like to have a fat six months of savings sitting pretty in your account and the only five reasons you should be dipping into it. No, that out-of-state wedding doesn’t count. (It’s actually optional, no matter what your sister-in-law says.)

Read the next 30 on Learnvest.com.

How I Saved More Than $1 Million for Retirement
The 7 Biggest Retirement Mistakes Financial Planners See
How I Did a Career 180 When I Was Almost 40

Next: Why Smart Women Are Afraid to Invest Their Hard-Earned Cash

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