The 30s have the potential to define the financial path you want to set for yourself.
Most people experiment in their twenties and spend time learning and unlearning. There might be some failures and some wins. But when you cross to the third decade, you want to build on that experience and move forward financially.
At this age, you have accumulated some assets, put away some money in a savings account, and your income is steadily increasing. While you have started to gain more responsibility and your budget is on the rise, you still have some change to spare. You will also realise that in order to grow your wealth and income, you will have to take some risks.
This article will explore five risks that are worth taking in your 30s, how to assess those risks and what you can do to prevent financial losses when taking any of these risks.
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Investing your money is the most common risk you'd have to take in your 30s. Any step you take to increase the value of your income has some risks attached to it, and not investing, in itself, is equally risky. But without taking any risks and investing, your money will lose value due to inflation.
Investing your money ensures you reach your designed financial goals, build wealth for yourself and your family and help you be self-dependent when you retire.
The most common risk investors make is depositing their money in a bank to earn enough interest to keep up with inflation and keep their money safe. Even though KDIC insures deposits of up to Ksh500,000, you risk being frustrated and have to wait for at least two years to get your money if your bank goes into receivership.
But a bank collapse is just one of the many risks you face when you make any investment. Others include market risks, the factors outside your control that will affect your investment performance. Interest rate risks, counterparty, and credit/default risks are also some risks you assume when you invest.
When making any investment, always assess your risks and talk to an expert to guide you. Understanding your risk tolerance, taking emotions out of your decision-making, and diversifying when allocating your assets are some ways to lower your risk exposure. Although this doesn't guarantee you are protected from risks.
Investing in yourself involves getting out of your comfort zone and start exploring new territories. In your 30s, you have found stability in your career, and you might start getting too comfortable. But there is always a chance of going higher.
When you start breaking boundaries and embracing new ideas, you overcome your fears, expose yourself to better opportunities, and get more creative. But this can take some time and delay you from accomplishing your financial goals. And other times, it can fail.
One of the best self-investments you can make in your 30s is improving your skill set or learning new skills. This might sometimes involve returning to school or taking an internship outside your workplace. When this happens, it might affect your overall productivity, and you will likely work less or have to quit altogether.
When you invest in yourself, you hope to command more wages. But that doesn't always happen and might take time. When you take the risks of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you should consider everything that can go wrong and establish a strategy to help you mitigate the effects.
This is one of the biggest risks you can take in your 30s. You can decide to either start a business as a second source of income or abandon your steady paycheck to concentrate on building your startup. Starting a business can be overwhelming, and you will require high risk tolerance to dive into this uncharted water.
Starting a business has its advantages. First, you get to be your boss and control how you make money. It affords you excellent flexibility; if you are lucky, you can pursue all your passions. Even monetise them. But it also comes with various risks that, if not careful, can harm you financially.
The first uncertainty you'll expose yourself to is capital risks. Whether using your savings, debt, or externally raised funds, you'll put money on the line. Starting a business often requires high capital injection, which can lead you to liquidate your assets, go into debt, or sell company shares to raise money. The future of the business will also be heavily cash flow dependent which can expose you to more risks.
Other risks you face when you start a business include
Business risks are common. Before you open a shop, it is crucial to assess all the uncertainty you could be exposed to and have a solid plan on how to deal with them when they arise. This is done by incorporating a risk management structure into your business plan.
Take a risk and bet on your future. The truth is that you can only work for so long. It will reach a date you’ll be forced to hang your boots. And when that day comes, you need money to survive. By saving 10% of your income in your retirement account, you guarantee yourself a nest egg to fall back on when you leave the workforce.
While saving 10% of your retirement does ensure you are well prepared for the future, it is not necessarily the best way to put money to use. You can enjoy the benefits of compound interest, but other investments could guarantee more returns. Saving instead of investing for retirement is suitable for conservative people with low-risk tolerance.
Saving for retirement also exposes you to some other risks like inflation. You might have to budget and increase the amount you save as inflation rises. What 10% of your salary can buy, you know, might significantly be less than what you can get when you retire in 30 years.
Read Also: How to Plan for Retirement While in Your 30s
You are already working towards providing yourself and your family with utmost stability. You can take this a notch higher and offer them permanent residence by owning a home.
There are factors to consider before you go into homeownership. Location (Upcountry or Urban Living), the nature of your job, and the homeownership path you wish to take. There is also the cost of homeownership you want to think about. But homeownership can be a good risk if you are looking for forced savings.
Instead of paying rent and enriching your landlord, you can take a mortgage or invest in rent-to-own property. The monthly payments you will be making will go towards earning you equity of the house you are living in.
You can also dedicate a portion of your income to slowly constructing your house. This forces you to save money and, in the long term, hedge against inflation and ensure capital gains thanks to appreciations.
When you decide to take this risk, always have contingencies to address risks when they arise. Getting comprehensive home insurance, for instance, can help you mitigate risks such as financial risks you can be exposed to and environmental risks such as flooding.
Read Also: Renting or Homeownership: How Do You Decide?
Before taking any risks, it is essential that you first acknowledge two things. One, previous performance does not guarantee future results. And two, sometimes it all boils down to luck. For example, an investment that has been giving investors a positive return for years can offer a negative return to you.
Which why it is vital that when you take any risks, you should:
The truth is, you will be forced to take a risk at some point in life. Instead of waiting for that day and fumbling, you can always start early. Learn how to assess your risks and take more calculated risks. This way, you can predict all the possible outcomes and be prepared for all scenarios.
Before taking any risks, always acquit yourself with all things you need to know about it, whether an investment product or a career risk. You can also talk to experts or people who have taken that road before and get their opinions. This will save you and expose you to perspectives you might have missed.