If you’re on the cusp of your late 20s and wondering what life’s like beyond the big 3-0, here’s a tip: It’ll change, sure … but not in all the ways you might expect.
After all, maybe you already have big plans for the decade, like opening your own business, getting married or starting a family. But there may be changes you haven’t considered, too — many of them centered on your health and well-being as you get older. From getting the recommended medical tests by age to taking care of your financial and mental health, here’s what every 20-going-on-30-something should know.
1. As Your Career Changes, Your Mental Health Becomes Even More Precious
Millennials are an anxious bunch, in part due to the stress of demanding jobs and work that gets harder as they climb the ranks. Plus, young people tend to be more involved in the gig economy, and as they approach their 30s, they’re more prone to turning side hustles into full-time self-employment.
Those types of sweeping career changes can pose trouble for your mental health if you don’t prioritize self-care. Mix and match new hobbies and wellness activities to see what works for you: Carve out time for an after-work yoga class once a week, for example, or schedule monthly massages to decompress.
If you start to notice symptoms of a bigger issue — such as lack of sleep, trouble concentrating or loss of appetite — you might want to consider booking a therapist or joining a support group. That way, you can confront those issues head-on before they snowball into unhealthy coping habits like drinking too often or isolating yourself.
2. Recommended Screenings Start to Evolve After You Hit 30
As you get older, it gets harder for your body to feel good on a diet of hamburgers and instant ramen. If you want to stay healthy and strong in your 30s, taking care of yourself should be a priority. But fueling your body with wholesome foods and exercise — while important — is just one part of that. You’ll also need to stay on top of your preventive health care with routine screenings.
Even if you think you’re up-to-date on your screenings, be sure to check again, since the screenings you need might change once you hit your 30s. For instance, you may need to do extra tests based on your health history, or even your family’s. Women may need to start mammograms in their 30s if their moms or sisters had breast cancer at a young age. For men, testosterone levels tend to drop after age 30, so a visit to the doctor might be in order to ask about supplements.
To stay on track, find a primary care provider who can help you navigate the recommended medical tests by age as you hit different milestones in your 30s and beyond.
3. Your Financial Health Needs Attention, Too — Especially If You Have Kids
Bold career moves (like going out on your own) paired with greater health needs (like starting a family) can make or break your financial situation. To move the needle closer to the “make” side of things, you’ll need to protect your financial health, just like you do your physical and mental well-being.
Obviously, that means putting more toward savings, but there’s more to it than that. Spend your money in smarter ways by taking advantage of tax breaks, like using a health savings account if you have a high-deductible health plan. For 2019, individuals can put up to $3,500 of tax-free funds in their account. If you have a family, it doubles to $7,000.
With all of these changes on the horizon, now is the perfect time to consider extra protection, like a supplemental policy. These plans provide a vital safety net — if you find yourself or a family member with an unexpected illness or injury, these plans can give you lump-sum payments so you have cash in hand. Because if there’s one thing you should know as you move into your next decade of life, it’s this: Life likes to throw you curveballs once in a while. It’s best to be prepared for them.