I think every lifestyle blog out there has one post titled “What I Wish I Knew in My 20′s.” You’re not a real blog until you have one, I’m told. I’m still in my 20′s, so I thought I’d turn the tables and write a post about things I hope I know when I’m in my 30′s. I’ll probably put in so much effort learning all the things I want to learn for my next decade of life that I’ll forget to learn all the things other bloggers in their 30′s and 40′s told me to learn while I’m still in my 20′s.
- How to understand the fundamentals of a stock – My stock picking techniques are not complicated. I start with the list of dividend aristocrats and then return to my Scott Adams selection criteria. I’d even consider investing in a dividend aristocrat that I don’t hate (like ABT), or a hated company that isn’t a dividend aristocrat (like PM), but that’s about as wild and crazy as I’d get at this point. When I’m in my 30′s and have a much larger portfolio to play with, it would be fun to set aside a small percentage for investing in stocks based on my own thorough analysis.
- What kinds of insurance I need - Term life, whole life, long term care, fire, flood, who knows what else? As a young, healthy, unmarried woman who doesn’t own any property, I don’t even think about this. I know I have disability insurance through work, but that’s about it. When I’m in my 30′s, married, and own a house, insurance will become much more important. Which means I better understand what coverages I need.
- The ins and outs of home ownership – People always warn you that owning a house is a lot more work than renting one. You’re responsible for maintenance, insurance, and probably several other things I’m not even aware of yet.
- How to write a will – Once I’m married and have children, it would probably be advisable to write a will. As far as I know from watching movies, I can just pull out a fountain pen, write a will on some tea-stained paper, and stash it in my desk drawer, hoping that after I die, someone will find it there. I’m pretty sure in real life I just need to make an appointment with a lawyer and they can write one up for me. (And on that note, in my 30′s I should probably have a lawyer… and an accountant while we’re at it.)
- How to teach my children about finances – It seems like most people I know are financially illiterate when they graduate college, regardless of the socioeconomic status of their parents. I’d like for my children to be financially literate when they enter the real world, but how does one go about accomplishing that? Should you give your children an allowance? Should you require them to work throughout school? Should you let them make mistakes or should you bail them out? Should you make them pay for college themselves? Everyone has their own opinions on these matters, and I don’t know that there are any correct answers.
- How to teach my children about healthy living – Us childless people often say things like “I won’t let my child eat junk food,” or “my kid won’t spend his nights sitting in front of the TV,” and our friends with children laugh and tell us to “just wait until we have kids.” We all start out with noble goals for how we want to raise our children, but then life gets so busy and children are such a handful that we end up making them boxed mac ‘n cheese and sitting them in front of the TV because making them a healthy meal and playing outside with them is too much effort for an exhausted parent who just wants to collapse into a comfy chair.