5 Essential Things to Do Before You’re 30

November 12, 2015

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Ellen Bartling


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1. Start a plan for retirement

One of the last thoughts on your mind in your twenties is saving for retirement. Being a silver-haired fox seems such a long way off, plus, you plan on making the big bucks later in life, so why should you have to save now? Do yourself a favor and save, even if it’s $50 a month. Say you started at age 25; that’s $24,000 you wouldn’t have otherwise at retirement age (though we encourage you to try to save more). If your workplace offers a 401k, take it. If they offer a match, DEFINITELY take it. If you can’t get one through work, open your own plan at your bank. Listen, life can deal you some tough blows: you might go into medical debt, you might lose your job and not find another one for years or you might spend all your money on a gold-plated lion sculpture you purchased during a drunken stupor in Vegas. If any of these things happen, at least you know you socked some money away so you can enjoy your golden years like Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sophia (for you youngsters, that’s a reference you’ll have to Google on your own).

web-5-things-before-30-022. Get health insurance

If you don’t do any of these other four recommendations in this list (you should definitely take that solo trip to Europe, though), get yourself health insurance. Life can be as unpredictable as a feral raccoon, and having health insurance is really comes in handy when that raccoon jumps on your head and tries to scratch your eyeballs out. Whether you need insurance after high school, college or after you’re booted off your parent’s plan, don’t be afraid. Getting insurance is easy and KindHealth can help.

web-5-things-before-30-033. Take a really big trip by yourself

Because why not? For many of you, you’ll eventually find a job you love, marry the love of your life, have a kid or two or three (but please no more than three), buy a house, get busy with your career, and you’ll be so thankful that you took that big, life-changing trip by yourself when you still had the time (and disposable income). In a day and age when we’re constantly tethered to the Internet and our online community, it’s more important than ever to have some quality alone time while learning and discovering something new. Backpack Europe, soul search in India, walk the Great Wall of China or climb the Mayan temples. There is so much beauty in the world; you need to grab life by its furry little throat before it claws your eyes out.

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4. Take a chance, career-wise

You know those articles that tell you to give up your current job and go after your dream job? Well most of them are full of crap, but there is some truth in switching up your life, career-wise. It’s in your twenties- most likely before you settle down with a partner, family or house- when you should dabble in different professions. The likelihood that you love the profession you studied at college is slim; twenty-somethings change jobs an average of seven times. There is nothing wrong with hating your first job, or your second job, or your third job- even if your grandmother is completely confused as to why you switch up jobs so often because “in her day, you stayed at a job until retirement and then you got a great pension.” We wish it was still like that, Grandma. Think of it this way: every job you’ve left or lost is one step closer to what you really want to do.

web-5-things-before-30-055. Go skydiving

Because by now you’ve followed suggestion #2, right!?