First and foremost, it’s important to keep in mind that there aren’t particular checkpoints you need to meet by specific points in your life. Ultimately, there is no one right way to live your life. However, there are a few things that someone in their 20s can do before they turn 30 to set themselves up for success down the road.
Getting into a line of work you enjoy is a common life goal for many people. However, the benefits of doing so can go far beyond personal preference. Consistent stress may actually have significant negative impacts on your physical health. As such, starting an enjoyable low-stress career sooner rather than later can positively influence your health in the long run.
This may sound easier said than done, but an enjoyable career doesn’t necessarily mean a job as a highly paid business executive. For many people, it could also be a low-stress job that offers benefits like flexibility or the ability to travel. Such jobs are an increasingly realistic option for younger people as remote work options expand.
Reading books and watching documentaries can be a great source of personal enrichment. Many people in their late 20s are no longer in school and may find these mediums a good way to further their education on their own time. Furthermore, documentaries and books allow you to focus on what interests you, in stark contrast to many avenues of formal education.
It can be difficult to make new friends after you have left school, but social connections are still important to a healthy lifestyle. Building friendships can be all the more difficult if you also work in a remote environment. As such, it is important to find groups and communities with interests similar to your own, as a means of fostering friendships. These can include clubs, forums, and even professional communities.
Insurance can be tricky to navigate, but it is necessary. It becomes even more pertinent starting in your late 20s, as you will be responsible for your own health insurance. By this age, you may also need to take advantage of homeowners insurance and auto insurance.
Such basic insurance is highly advisable, and in some cases may even be a matter of legal requirement. However, some more elective forms of insurance may also be worth considering. For example, life insurance and pet insurance policies may be valuable means of cutting long-term costs, depending on your individual circumstances.
A basic budget and some simple long-term financial goals are important at any age. However, in your late 20s and early 30s, it’s more important than ever to make concrete long-term financial goals. You can do this by prioritizing your aspirations, reviewing your assets, and implementing specific saving and investing measures for the short term.
It’s also a good idea to ensure you have a plan to manage your debt. Check your credit report and reach out to any specific institutions that may manage your debt in order to determine how much you owe and set up a payment plan.
It can be difficult to live somewhere you actually like if you don’t first have a solid idea of where that may be. Consider what you value in a place to live and let that information help you narrow down which state, city, or even specific neighborhood would be ideal for you. Think about factors like the cost of owning a home there, the surroundings, culture, and availability of various resources.
It may even be helpful to visit a promising spot to get a better feel for what it would be like to live there. With a specific place in mind, it will be easier to understand what you need to do long term to make it there. Hurdles relating to factors like housing, employment, and various upfront living costs can vary widely for different areas.
Don’t undervalue the importance of enjoying life as you work to fulfill your everyday needs. If there is something you’ve always wanted to do, it’s just as important to plan for that as it is to set your more practical long-term goals.
Traveling, pursuing a new hobby, or taking a career risk are some common goals that people push off over time. By more firmly establishing the goal and creating a timeframe for achieving it, you are more likely to get around to it.
Don’t be discouraged by the feeling that some arbitrary deadline has passed to reach your goals or pursue your interests. You’ll find buying into that kind of thought process is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You shouldn’t discourage yourself right out of the gate. Ultimately, by pursuing your goals and interests regardless of your age, you will not only get to enjoy the fruits of your efforts, but you will also feel fulfilled and empowered.
Ultimately, you should not see 30 as a stressful achievement deadline, but rather an opportunity to get your bearings and reconsider what is most important to you.