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(Tobias Keckel/Tobias Keckel/iStock)
(Tobias Keckel/Tobias Keckel/iStock)

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10 steps to financial security before 30 Add to ...

Examples of calculated risks might include moving to a new city with more job opportunities, going back to school for additional training or taking a new job at a different company for less pay but more upside potential. Starting a new company, working for a small startup company, or investing in high risk/high return stocks, is easier to do when you're young. Younger people can afford to take risk, and the same opportunities might not be available later in life. As people get older and assume more family responsibilities like paying off the mortgage or saving for the kids' education, many are forced to play it safe and are unable to capitalize on riskier opportunities that present themselves.

Taking calculated risks when you can afford to do so is necessary to get ahead financially. Playing it safe might be the bigger mistake in the long run.

9. Borrow Money For Investments - Never to Finance a Lifestyle

As mentioned before with the Joneses, you should never borrow to finance a lifestyle you cannot afford. Using credit for a life you feel entitled to is a losing proposition when it comes to building wealth. The constant borrowing will assure that there is no money available for investing, and the added interest expense of borrowing further increases the cost of the lifestyle.

Borrowing money should be used only for investing - where your gain will outrun your borrowing costs. This might mean investing in the literal sense (for stocks, bonds, etc.) or it might mean investing in yourself for your education, extra training, to start a business or to buy a house. In these cases, borrowing can provide the leverage you need to a reach your financial goals faster. Borrowing to meet short-term desires is counterproductive.

10. Take Advantage of Financial Freebies

Not many things in life are free. If you belong to a company pension plan, take the free money it offers and make sure that you contribute at least up to the maximum of what your company will match.

You can also look for (legal) ways to take advantage of tax laws. For example, contributing to an individual retirement account will result in a tax savings - in effect, the government is giving you free money to provide an incentive to contribute. There is also an incentive to invest in stocks because of favorable tax treatment on capital gains and dividend income.

Conclusion

Achieving financial independence is a goal most people strive for. It is not necessarily easy, but it is achievable if you understand your priorities, set achievable goals and take the proper steps toward reaching them.

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