Skip to Content loading...

Not a member yet?

Listerhill Credit Union is a nonprofit financial cooperative improving lives in our community.

If you live in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, or Tennessee, you are eligible to become a member. Depending on your individual eligibility, we may require membership into an approved association at no cost to you.

You can also qualify for membership by being a family member of a current or potential Listerhill member.

With only $5, you can join Listerhill today and start taking advantage of a lifetime membership.

a couple sitting at a table smiling at a computer

How to Build Wealth in Your 30s and 40s

You've probably received a ton of financial advice at different stages of your life. Things like, "you should start saving as soon as you get your first paycheck!" But what if you haven't built up much—or any—wealth by the time you reach your 30s or 40s?

The good news is that it's never too late to start investing in your future. No matter what you've achieved so far, our handy guide offers you tips and tricks on how to build wealth in your 30s and 40s.

How to Build Wealth in Your 30s

Your 30s are a great time to kickstart your ideas about money. Take a look at your life and see if you're on track for a secure future or if you need to make a few changes. Here's what to do to help you achieve your goals.

Create a Vision for Your Future

The first step in any plan to build wealth in your 30s is to review your experience and assess your outlook. Can you picture a life where you have personal wealth and are financially secure? Compared to your family background, would you like to earn more or about the same as your parents?

Ask yourself questions based on your life goals. For example:

  • Do you need to save up for a major purchase, like a mortgage down payment on a new home?
  • Will you need to furnish that new home?
  • Do you need to set aside money for college or raising children?
  • Will you want to take a big family vacation, possibly to a foreign country?
  • Do you have enough savings to cover emergencies?

Make a Budget and Save First

Maybe you're thinking, “I don't have any spare money to save!” One guaranteed way to build wealth is to save a portion of your paycheck first—then see what you have left over to spend.

Create a budget that follows any of the popular guidelines like 50 percent for needs, 30 percent for wants, and 20 percent for savings and/or debt payments. Consider automating your savings with scheduled transfers from your checking to another account.

Start tracking your spending using a method that works for you, like an expense tracker app or highlighting the different spending categories on your bank statement. Make notes of any surprises and ask yourself if you really need the item or service.

Consider Ways to Reduce Your Debt

You might feel you can't save because you're too busy paying down debt. So your 30s are a great time to work out a way to bring your payments under control.

Make Plans for Your Retirement and Estate

Your retirement is an essential part of any discussion about how to build wealth in your 30s. Thanks to the magic of compounding interest, the sooner you start investing in your future, the more wealth you'll accumulate.

Seek an employer that offers a 401(k) so a percentage of your salary goes directly into a retirement account that can be transferred if you change jobs. Ideally, your employer will make matching contributions.

In addition, you can open an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) and choose between a Traditional or Roth IRA. An IRA is also the best option if your employer doesn't offer a 401(k) so you can start your retirement savings.

For your estate, make a Last Will and Testament so your family or descendants are clear on what to do with your assets should the worst happen. You may also consider taking out life insurance.

Be Aware of Lifestyle Inflation

As your income rises, you may be tempted to buy a better car, a bigger home, or a more fashionable wardrobe. This natural tendency is called "lifestyle inflation," and it's one reason many people don't build wealth in their 30s.

Many people who have built up wealth are not your stereotypical rich people. They might not live in a mansion and drive a Ferrari. Instead, they got wealthy because they lived modestly, saved money, and invested their spare earnings. You don't need to keep up with the Joneses!

How to Build Wealth in Your 40s

Your 40s are a time to consolidate and build on the wealth you've gathered so far. But if you're just getting started, don't worry! You can take all our advice on how to build wealth in your 30s and add it to our handy list of how to build wealth in your 40s.

Create Multiple Income Streams

Chances are your career is well underway. But are you putting your time and assets to their best use? Your 40s are a great age to see if there are ways to boost your income. You could:

  • Sell your hobby wares for a profit.
  • Offer consultancy services in your areas of expertise.
  • Seek seed money for your brilliant idea and make an action plan.
  • Rent a spare room on Airbnb.

Max Out Your Annual Retirement Contributions

Let's say you opened an IRA in your 30s and you contributed a few hundred dollars every other month, on top of your 401(k). Well, if you want to know how to build wealth in your 40s, you need to take things up a notch.

  • Read the fine print on your retirement account and make the maximum contribution each year based on your earnings. For example, some IRAs let you contribute about $6,000.
  • Learn about the tax advantages you can enjoy later in life and make the most of these opportunities.
  • You could open a Health Savings Account (HSA), which lets you use the funds for medical expenses during retirement.
  • If you haven't looked at your will in a while, you should check that any additional assets and wealth are accounted for.

Invest Your Money in Stocks or Index Funds

You can learn about the stock market and invest your money according to your hunches, interests, and values. Or you can hire a professional to do it for you!

Note that the stock market lets you invest in publicly traded (or publicly listed) companies of your choosing, while an index fund lets you invest in a curated group of companies. Investing in the stock market involves risk including the possible loss of principal.

Reassess Your Needs and Consider Downsizing

Your living expenses and accommodation needs may go up and down depending on whether you have children and when they leave the nest. Or you can just simply find your lifestyle changing as you grow older.

Your 40s are a good time to check in and see if you want to continue living the same way or make some money-saving changes, like:

  • Sell a large home and invest the proceeds when purchasing a smaller one.
  • Cut down on groceries and food waste.
  • Have fewer family vehicles.
  • Cut back on help like gardeners and cleaners.

Create a Debt-Free Plan

Your 40s mean you're at a midpoint in life and retirement is still years away. Even so, you want to start thinking about how you can be debt-free by the time you're about 65.

  • Look at your mortgage schedule and see if you're on track to pay it off. If not, can you increase your payments? There's usually no penalty for paying extra.
  • What are you using your credit cards for? Can you pay off your balance each month and use your cards only to earn cash back and enjoy other benefits?

Enlist a Financial Advisor to Get on Track

Whether you're in your 30s or 40s, there's no need to handle your finances and make important decisions on your own. Listerhill Credit Union offers a range of services to help you navigate life and set yourself up for a great future.

Whatever you need, our friendly financial advisors want to get to know you and guide you in the right direction.

Learn about our financial planning services Listerhill Investment Services.

Securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker-dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Listerhill Credit Union and Listerhill Financial Services are not registered as a broker-dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using Listerhill Investment Services, and may also be employees of Listerhill Credit Union or Listerhill Investment Services. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from, and not affiliates of, Listerhill Credit Union or Listerhill Investment Services. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:

Not Insured by NCUA or Any Other Government Agency

Not Credit Union Guaranteed

Not Credit Union Deposits or Obligation

May Lose Value

The LPL Financial registered representatives associated with this website may discuss and/or transact business only with residents of the states in which they are properly registered or licensed. No offers may be made or accepted from any resident of any other state.

Related: How to Save Money Fast On a Low Income

default icon for Solution Finder Intro
What can we help you with? *
default icon for Checking For Mature Members
What are you borrowing for?
default icon for Checking For Mature Members
Vehicle Options
default icon for Checking For Mature Members
Home Options
default icon for Carrolls
What are you saving for?
default icon for Carrolls
How old are your kids?
default icon for Cord
Which of these banking options are you interested in?
default icon for Cord
How old are you (or your child)?
default icon for Cord
How old are you?
default icon for Cord
What kind of account are you looking for?
search popup background

What are you looking for?

Common Links

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are some factors to consider when choosing a rewards credit card?

    Determine whether you prefer cash back, travel points, or other reward types. Then, explore how and when reward points accumulate, if there are spending caps, and how easy it is to redeem your rewards. Financial institutions like credit unions tend to offer great rewards credit cards.

  • How can I compare credit card offers before making a decision?

    Carefully review rewards programs, like cash back or travel miles, when comparing credit cards. Also, consider the rewards rate, interest rates, annual fees, and any additional benefits the card includes.

  • What are the benefits of choosing a credit union's credit card compared to others?

    Our credit cards reward you for making purchases. They feature competitive interest rates and fewer fees than traditional banks. Members benefit from personalized customer service. We work closely with you to understand your financial situation and needs.

  • What if I prefer to make my payments through a pre-authorized automatic payment arrangement (ACH)?

    Please contact TruHome at 844-203-3642 to set up automatic payments or visit here to set them up yourself.

  • What if I prefer to make my payments through the Listerhill Mobile Banking app or Online Banking?

    Unfortunately, when the transfer occurs, mortgages will not be displayed on our app or in online banking, but we are working to bring that functionality ASAP.

    In the meantime, please visit here to view all mortgage information and payment options.