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3 crucial life decisions you will face in your 30s…

Aside from planning the big party, there are some major life decisions that must be made when we move in to our 30s.

1. Heed an important health warning

Health Minister Leo Varadkar, who recently reached his mid-30s, has warned that health insurance may soon become more expensive for those aged over 34 if they delay taking it out. This is because Lifetime Community Rating (LCR) becomes a reality after April 30th this year, with new penalty loadings on private health insurance policies affecting those aged 34 or over who are taking out health insurance for the first time after this date. 

The easiest way to avoid the LCR loadings is to buy health insurance no later than 30th April 2015, or for those that already have it to maintain it.

But why bother with private health insurance in the first place? There are lots of reasons, including ensuring access to a much wider choice of hospitals and consultants, quicker referral for treatment, access to private hospitals and much more control and peace of mind over where you receive treatment. The good news is that there’s never been a better time to buy private health insurance with the battle among providers heating up to attract younger first time buyers. Laya Healthcare, Ireland’s second largest health insurer, recently launched Assure First, their lowest price hospital scheme costing just €395 per adult per year (less than €8 a week!). Unlike other providers, laya healthcare’s Assure First plan covers ALL public hospitals and includes its CareOnCall service with unlimited access to a GPline, Physioline and Nurseline which should help save on your everyday medical bills by avoiding a visit to the practitioner, along with its unique cardiac screening HeartBeat.

2.  Pick up a Pension

Like health insurance, If you wait until your 40s to start a pension then you will have to put far more money in, to give you the same pension you would have had  if you started saving in your 30s.  It might sound boring but it is possible to get income tax relief on contributions so the net cost to you will be lower.  The earlier you start saving for retirement the better, as the additional contributions will give you time for the fund to grow in value.  There are online pension calculators to help you to decide how much you can afford to pay.  The ideal is to save 15% or more of your gross income for retirement.  The good news is that your employer’s contribution counts towards this so ensure that your boss is on board.  Every time you get a salary increase it is advisable to bump up your contributions so that you will start accumulating a significant nest-egg.

3.  Elevate Your Earnings

Your 30s are a time to really consolidate your career and increase your earnings.  You’ve probably spent your 20s developing your skills but your 30s are the best years to really try and  ensure those skills are marketable. Identify where you are going and seek out the potential jobs, locations and companies that are the right fit for you. 

Financial planning is key in this decade and if you have not managed to accumulate savings yet, now is the time to start building a budget that will help if you are thinking about settling down and potentially having children.  Paying off non-mortgage debt, adjusting all your insurance policies, starting investments and growing an emergency fund are also ideal goals in your 30s.  It’s tempting in your 30s to start accumulating possessions, but keep an eye on your credit rating by checking it with the Irish Credit Bureau.

All these pointers will help to elevate your earnings and free you up financially to build more of a nest egg for the future as you move in to your 40s.

If you follow these financial and life commandments, you’ll get closer to financial security and thrive in your 30s.

Insurance provided by Elips Insurance Limited trading as Laya Healthcare. Laya Healthcare Limited trading as laya healthcare is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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