Do You Really Need To Own A House By 30?

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Be careful about the financial advice you heed from others. Frequently, people want you to follow in their footsteps — even if their footsteps mainly were missteps.

It’s popular advice to buy a house when you’re in your 30s. If you get one in your 20s, you’re ahead of the ball game and “doing well”. But we’re taught that in our 30s, it’s time to finally stop paying rent and instead buy, which should really be called “rent to buy.”

The American Dream Association sold us the idea that buying a house, getting a stable job, getting married, and having 1–3 kids was the ideal. Many of us have worked to gain all of this for so long without considering the costs or whether it’s even what we want.

40-Year-Old Avice To A Twenty-Something

Someone in their late 40s told a twenty-something that you might want to start considering getting a house because you’re getting up there. Yet, this person didn’t get their first house until their mid-40s and struggles with debt so much that they can no longer use credit cards.

They also can’t afford their current lifestyle without their partner’s income.

So, the twenty-something needs to flip the advice and ask some thoughtful questions to the 40-something such as:

1. Do you have a budget?

  • Are you tracking all of your income and expenses?
  • How much money do you have left over at the end of the month?

2. Are you debt-free?

  • If not, are your debts smart debts (e.g., rental real estate) or unsmart debts (e.g., private student loans and overpriced car notes)?
  • Are you successfully managing your debts, or are you getting eaten alive?

3. Do you have a 6–12 months emergency fund?

  • Do you dip into your emergency fund often for non-emergencies?
  • Does your emergency fund account for all of your expenses each month?

4. Are you on track with your retirement savings goals?

  • How are you managing the debt of your house? Do you have a 1-year emergency fund, and are you on track with retirement?

Questions From: When You’re Focused On Saving & Investing, You Forget To Spend

Research & Challenge The Advice You Receive

My article: Research The Advice You Receive, discusses how advice and opinions are as numerous as grains of sand.

If we’re not cautious of the advice we apply to our lives, we will conform to what everyone else believes we should do instead of thinking for ourselves.

The next time someone tells you to do something with your money — whether in person or digitally (e.g., article, book, podcast, or social media), reflect on the advice and ask yourself does it make sense for your life and your goals.

If it doesn’t, then throw the advice away.

If it does, apply it immediately.

Don’t sit on valuable education.

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This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered Financial or Legal Advice. Not all information will be accurate. Consult a financial professional before making any major financial decisions.