Adulting 101:  A Crash Course in the Art of Growing up at Any Age

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Growing older doesn't necessarily mean growing up. Becoming an adult doesn't happen automatically. It's not like when you turn 18 the adult light switches on. Adulthood is more of a state of mind than a state of age. It would be nice if there was a college course, like Adulting 101, to cover how to become a more responsible (ugh, not that word), well-rounded adult. In lieu of an actual class, try this quick and dirty guide to adulting to help you take on career planning, financial investments and caring for you health. 


Career Planning 

The most significant distinction between an adult and a child is a career. Girls have jobs; women have careers. But with adulthood comes adult problems, like a stagnant job market. Nearly five percent of Americans work both a career position and a second job for supplemental income, reports the Boston Globe.

 Adulthood is expensive, so generating multiple streams of income doubles your chances of advancement and ensures your ability to make ends meet. Employment diversification also makes you less reliant on one specific source of income while earning enough to save for retirement and meet other long-term goals. Networking through LinkedIn allows you to find contractual or freelance work opportunities with leading companies like Amway. Financial Investments Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of hesitant adults like the word "portfolio." A portfolio is simply a collection of your investments. 

Many people begin with a mutual fund, which is a conglomeration of securities (cash, bonds, stocks) that is created by a group of investors (you being one of them) to have a larger sum of securities to invest in others by multiple investments for the purpose of investing. Buying into a mutual fund is a simple way to develop a diverse portfolio that is carefully watched over and tended to by a fund manager. If you're a beginner, mutual funds are a great means of dipping your toes in the investment pool with minimal risk. 

 Health

If you don't have your health, you don't have anything. When you're young and full of life, the wisdom in this is lost on you. As you grow further and further into adulthood, though, it begins to make sense. What good are all the joys and enjoyments in life if you are not well enough to pursue them? 

For this reason, the sooner you accept responsibility (there's that word, again) for your health, the better off you will be. Also, getting sick without health insurance can be financially crippling. In the U.S., the leading cause of bankruptcy is medical debt, reports CNBC. Many employers offer health insurance in their offering packages, but if not, you need a private health insurance plan or an option from the healthcare marketplace. Although becoming an adult isn't always fun, it is necessary. Once you take the first step, you'll find that adulting isn't that hard. You may even begin to enjoy your responsibilities. Come on, anything is possible, right?

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