How Women of Color Can Start Building Wealth in Their 30s

Kara Pérez is the founder of Bravely Go, a financial platform focused on feminist economics and inclusive personal finance

Build wealth 30s

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Kara Pérez is the founder of Bravely Go, a financial platform focused on feminist economics and inclusive personal finance.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but your 30s are not too late to start building wealth especially as a person of color who didn’t grow up with financial literacy. Being in your 30s is YOUNG! I know the 22 year olds might not believe that, but it’s true, especially when it comes to starting to build wealth. The average lifespan of a Latinx in the U.S. is 77 years- that means at 35 you might still have 42+ years of life ahead of you. Yet, 49 percent of Latinxs don’t currently own individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds, exchange-traded funds, cryptocurrency or real estate, a 2021 CNBC/Momentive Invest in You survey found. Additionally, 59 percent of Black women aren’t invested in anything, compared to 48 percent of Latinas. But we CAN change that and we wanted to focus on building wealth in your 30s as that’s a time when you’ve likely established a career and might even have some savings. You’re going to need money to live your best life when you’re retired, so here’s your plan for investing and saving in your 30s.

When it comes to investing, it’s all about giving your money time to grow. Most of us know that right now the broader economy, and the stock market in particular are having a tough time. And this might turn you off from investing; what if you put money in and it “disappears”?!

Remember: time is on your side. Yes, the market goes through down days. Who doesn’t? Sometimes we all need a pint of ice cream and Selena on repeat! But just like we rebound, the market rebounds. While most of us didn’t grow up seeing our parents investing, it’s crucial to building wealth and financial stability for retirement. It’s also important to note that you don’t have to have a trust fund or investments starting in your 20s, it’s possible to start in your 30s.

You want to invest for the long term. That means through the down days and the high days. Through the boring days when you don’t even think of the stock market. You invest during vacation days and long work days. If you are 32 years old right now and want to retire at 60, that’s at least 28 years of time for your money to grow in the markets.

Say you zero to start with, and you invest $200 a month from 32-40 into an IRA (an Individual Retirement Account), and get a 5 percent annual return. That’s $22,917.86. Then at 40, you’ve gotten a few raises and you can do $500 a month until age 45. Let’s say you also get a 7 percent return. That’s $66,646.71. Now let’s say you do $650 a month from 45-60, and get a 7% return. By the time you turn 60, you’ll have $380,000 in investments. Maybe you’re thinking “ok, $380,000 is nice, but it’s not enough.” And fair enough!

But it’s not like you turn 60 and withdraw all your money to spend it at once. You withdraw a small amount to live off of, and the rest stays invested- aka it stays turning into more money. If you left that $380,000 invested and didn’t contribute another penny, in 10 years, at 5 percent interest, it would become $618,979.96.

But what are you living off of in those 10 years? This is why diversification is so important! As you’re slowly investing in the stock market in small amounts, you can also be building other types of investments. Home ownership is one of the most popular investments. Say you buy a home at 36 for $230,000 and pay off the mortgage by the time you’re 60. The house appreciates $80,000 in value over that time as well, so now it’s worth $310,000. Combined with your $380,000 in investments, you would have a net worth of $690,000 by the time you’re 60!

Other ways you can diversify your investments are:

    • Building a side hustle and diversifying your income
    • Investing in REITs, or real estate investment trusts
    • Spreading stock market investments across stocks, bonds, and index funds

    Watch a replay of our passive income workshop with HipLatina right here to brainstorm ways to earn more money with less work! Here’s your easy to follow plan:

    • Take time to budget and improve your financial literacy a little each week
    • Invest consistently every month, even if the amount changes
    • Diversify income
    • Diversify investments
    • Let them grow over time

    Remember: It’s Not Too Late! Please don’t think that your 30s or beyond is too late to change your financial life. It’s absolutely not! You have a lot of time and opportunity in front of you, it’s just a matter of giving yourself grace and knowing that small steps can still lead to big results.

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