When you reach a milestone, you've also hit a turning point for your finances. Make the right choice, and it will pay off big in the end. Make the wrong one, and it can cost you. Why? Because everything from your tax scenario to your income to your benefits to your spending may change, and that means it'll pay to give the new environment you're in a little thought.

If you're one of those people whose finances stay on the back burner until an important event strikes, then milestones also present an opportunity.

Here's how to respond to the ones you're likely to encounter decade by decade over the years:

Please note: This is general information and is not intended to be legal advice. You should consult with your own financial advisor before making any major financial decisions, including investments or changes to your portfolio, and a qualified legal professional before executing any legal documents or taking any legal action. Harpo Productions, Inc., OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery Communications LLC and their affiliated companies and entities are not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your financial or legal decisions.


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