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Your Investing Life: Financial steps for what's happening in your life

August 20, 2014

If you're like most people, you probably want to keep investing and financial planning high on your to-do list. But it feels like there's so much you need to do ... and so little time (and resources) to do it.

Your Investing LifeThe good news? No matter how busy you are, you can take a few simple steps to move yourself and your family toward your financial goals.

Vanguard's Your Investing Life offers tips to help you keep your financial well-being high on your list of priorities, for a range of events happening in your life, whether they're personal or work-related.

Your personal life

Gaining financial independence

Taking the reins of your financial future is exciting, whether you're new to the workforce or starting over after a change in your personal or professional life. But excitement can turn into inertia if you're not prepared—so keep the tips below in your back pocket and set your sights on the horizon. Your trek toward financial independence starts today.
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Buying your first home

You've pictured walking up to your own front door, opening it, and stepping across the threshold. Now you're ready to make the leap and buy your first home. It's exciting—and nerve-wracking, too. Here's what to keep in mind as you become a homeowner.
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Getting married

The question's been popped, the answer's yes, and you're anticipating a long and happy lifetime. You're about to entwine your life—and your financial well-being—with another person's. Doing a few things early in your marriage can help you start out on firm financial footing.
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Becoming a parent

As your family grows, your expenses will probably grow too. You won't be able to predict how your priorities will shift after the arrival of your child, but there are a few steps you can take now to prepare your finances for the future.
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Teaching kids about money

You get the importance of helping kids develop good money management skills. After all, it's far easier to start and build on a solid foundation of finances than to try and recover from a rocky one. But what can you do to lay down that knowledge base and create habits that can foster financial success? Here are a few suggestions.
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Balancing multiple financial demands

Whether juggling the financial needs of your parents and kids or figuring out how to save for your future while paying down debt, you probably have a lot of demands on your money. Balancing multiple goals can be challenging, so here are a few suggestions to help you maintain your financial equilibrium.
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Helping your adult kids get started as investors

For many young adults, planning for their financial future, especially retirement, just isn't on their radar, which can create stress and worry for you. But time is a powerful ally. The earlier your kids start saving, the more likely they'll be ready to meet future financial challenges.
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Getting divorced

Ending a marriage can be tough, no matter how it happens. Dealing with the emotional impact is hard enough. In addition, you've got to sort out the financial and investing implications. Here are sensible steps to help you cope.
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Helping aging parents

Perhaps your own financial picture is changing just as your parents begin to face the challenges that come with aging: health questions, saving and spending considerations, and estate planning issues, to name a few. Here are suggestions to help you manage these challenges for your—and your parents'—investing and financial lives.
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Spending your savings now that you're retired

You've taken the big step and retired. Now you're dealing with the day-to-day balance of living your life and maintaining enough money to feel comfortable while you're doing it. How much can—and should—you spend? Should you keep saving? What about investing? For help in answering these questions, consider these suggestions.
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Dealing with a loved one's death

Losing someone you love is one of the toughest and most overwhelming things you'll likely ever experience. In addition to the emotional toll, the list of tasks demanding your attention—including those related to your (and your family's) financial well-being—can seem daunting. It's impossible to take all the pain out of the experience. But these ideas may help make getting through the financial details a little less difficult.
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Managing financial windfalls

Maybe you've imagined winning the lottery, selling a successful business, or getting an inheritance from an unknown benefactor and how the proceeds could improve your life. If you've received an unexpected windfall, there are a few things you'll want to consider to help keep your dream of long-term financial health real too.
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Your work life

Starting your first full-time job

As you get ready to start your first full-time job, you're probably wondering about the kind of work you'll end up doing, whether you'll like it (and your coworkers), what the place will be like, and if you'll fit in. Something else you're anticipating? Your first full-time paycheck.
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Changing jobs

A new job means managing lots of changes. You've likely already considered whether your new duties will suit your strengths, if you'll feel comfortable in the working environment, and what pay and benefits you'll receive. But there could be more changes to your investment strategy and financial plan than you've anticipated.
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Going part-time

You're scaling back the number of hours you work outside your home. Whether the choice is yours or your employer's, you're probably wondering how your reduced hours—and pay—will affect your budget. But other aspects of your investing life that may also be affected by the change might be further down on your list of considerations. These aspects can be easier to manage when you take just a few simple steps.
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Losing your job

Losing a job can be devastating, whether it happens suddenly or you see the writing on the wall for a while. While you cope with the impact it will have on many aspects of your life, here are a few steps you can take to protect your investing and financial life and reduce the stress you feel as you deal with the situation.
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Going back to work

You've made the decision to start working again after a break. You've probably got a list of changes to prepare for—getting used to a different schedule, coordinating commuting times, learning new duties. One thing that might not be on your list (but worth adding): Your investment and financial plan. A few simple steps can help you balance financial and investing tasks along with your new responsibilities.
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Going back to school

Deciding to go back to school is a big decision, and being a student can impact everything from your schedule to your finances. Preparation is key—both in your financial life and in your academic life—so take a moment to brush up on the basics.
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Starting your own business

Whether you're starting a one-person consulting shop or an enterprise with a number of employees, you'll have a lot of planning to do and decisions to make—strategic, operational, and financial. With all these things to manage, your personal financial goals, and the way you invest to reach them, can get pushed aside. To help balance your personal and business financial goals, check out these suggestions.
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Tell us what you want to know

Have questions about other topics? Simply click the Comment link near the top of this page to send us a question or to comment on this article—or any in the series. You can also post a comment on our Facebook page or shoot us a tweet. Your feedback will help us give you the information you need to manage your investing life ... and keep it integrated with your whole life.

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