Money can be a stressful topic to think or talk about, but it’s even more stressful when spending habits or debt levels get away from you, creating further financial headaches for you and your family. Enlisting the help of a professional financial planner and adhering to sound money management advice — from setting a budget to making investments — is essential to maintaining a strong and healthy household.

According to Bankrate, here are three major milestones in your life where financial planning is key:

  • First job: Odds are when you land that first job out of college, you won’t be immediately thinking of retirement, especially if you have student loans and other debts hanging over your head. But as one financial planner tells the source, “Time is your biggest alley. The earlier you start [planning for retirement], the better off you’ll be.” Of course, since your income is likely on the smaller end at this point in your life, it’s important to consult with a financial planner that can determine the appropriate amount of funds to stash away without bankrupting your checking account in the process.
  • Having kids: Raising children is expensive enough as is, never mind setting aside money to help pay for college later down the road. But the earlier you start saving — and know how to save — the better prepared you’ll be, especially since schools aren’t getting any cheaper.
  • Marriage: The happiest day of your life can lead to some painful discussions about money later, particularly if you and your new spouse are considering a joint bank account. A professional can help ease tensions and set up smart money management practices to follow as the two of your start building your life together.

An essential for smart money management is making a life insurance investment that will help keep your loved ones safe and financially secure after you’re gone. To find affordable options in your budget, take a look at our 20 year term life insurance rate chart.