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Ask HN: What's your best advice for someone turning 30 today?
51 points by mgranados 8 months ago | hide | past | favorite | 89 comments
Just turned 30 and truly would appreciate some advice from you. Anything goes, be healthier, buy $BTC, don't buy $BTC, etc.

Keep fit. Everything else depends on it. If you hate exercising (like me), try to find some sports that are fun to play, and find some friends who are willing to drag you to play.

Also get your tests done regularly. Blood test, etc. are super important and can detect issues early on.

Health is the basic of everything else and you don't want to try to fix it when it's broken because it's going to be too late.

Another thing is try to find a passion. Could be part of work or part of hobby but one needs to have passion on something or he lives like a zombie. It can be anything from chasing girls to star gazing, but something you are so passionate at that you are willing to throw resources into it to get as professional as possible. Do yourself a favor and put up a blog and youtube channel about your passion and advertise yourself.

So now you are mentally and physcially fit, can't be better than that. The point is not to push yourself to do a lot of things in one day, but put a bit of extra care to yourself and invest a bit of time to your passions everyday for ten thousand days.

> Also get your tests done regularly. Blood test, etc. are super important and can detect issues early on.

In the US do you get some kind of yearly health checkup even if you're healthy with your blood tested and so on?

How come the NHS doesn't do this in the UK, I wonder? If I went to my NHS doctor and said I felt fine but asked for a general health-check and blood test they'd tell me to GTFO. Are we missing out on something that we should be getting?

> How come the NHS doesn't do this in the UK, I wonder? If I went to my NHS doctor and said I felt fine but asked for a general health-check and blood test they'd tell me to GTFO.

WTF, in France you're encouraged to do so, and there are even reminders by (e)mail for stuff like dentist and specific preventive checkups for women.

They do specific checkups like breast screening, but if you asked for a generic 'yearly checkup' they'd call you a time waster and probably write something on your record!

I'm in Canada but you can request to do tests if you don't feel OK and sometimes you get them. It depends on the family doctor though, and the waiting time is very long. But once you get the appointments rolling then everything is fine.

I have insurance from job so I always make arrangements through private clinics who are glad to refer you to any place. One visit (to make appointments, not the tests) costs about 200 but insurance covers 80% so it's kinda OK. You also don't need to do it annually unless you are into 50 or 60.

The Affordable Care Act (also called "Obamacare") requires that all health insurance plans offer one healthy checkup every year at no cost to the patient.

The NHS does do this, just have to wait till you're 40: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-health-check/

Hmmm once every five years, after 40? Why do countries like the US feel the need to do it for everyone every year? Are they excessive or are we lazy?

The US testing is excessive.

Over-testing leads to over-diagnosis, and that leads to over-treatment. These sometimes cause harm, and tend not to reduce all cause mortality.


> When ordering unproven screening tests for asymptomatic patients without good reason, few consider the low yield, high cost per diagnosis made, and considerable toll of false positives. Anecdotal accounts of unexpected diagnoses discovered on “routine” testing help perpetuate over-testing. But even the best tests yield more false positives than true positives when the prevalence of what one is testing for is low. Others order tests to establish a “baseline,” but this has been shown repeatedly not to improve care for asymptomatic patients and consumes hundreds of millions of health care dollars per year.1, 2 Abnormal results that later prove erroneous engender unnecessary anxiety and needless follow-up testing. Ordering only medically indicated tests reduces our role as instigators of needless worry and, as an added benefit, helps lessen physicians’ workload.

And keep a copy of your own health records. You don't need to see the doctor's files, but you should know dates when different tests are done, and the results. A paper notebook is best, but I just email my wife with the subject "HEALTH:"

I'm turning 32 in 9 days. Here's what I would like to have said to myself, given the chance: Start thinking about yourself. I mean it. Figure out what you like, what makes you feel good, what you can own and enjoy. Stick to that special something, don't forget yourself. Don't try to please everyone at your own expense. Take vacations, pay attention to your mental health. You are entering a new decade, that's going to feel shorter than the one already past you. Learn how to concentrate your efforts. Hindsight is 20/20, use that to your advantage, learn from your past mistakes.

> You are entering a new decade, that's going to feel shorter than the one already past you

I'm 32 as well. Why does it feel like years go by quicker as you age? I can barely remember anything in my first 2 years of this decade.

When you're 1, a year is your life.

When you're 2, a year is 1/2 of your life.

When you're 3, a year is 1/3 of your life.

When you're 30, a year is 1/30th of your life.

Your frame of reference for time is changing every day. Each day feels relatively shorter than the day before.

Strangely though, some years feel very long. To me that's explained by how much activity is going on, day to day. Like how when work is not busy, everyone says "slow day." 2020 for example was less busy for most people (stuck at home), so it was a "slow year."

I dunno, that's my experience anyway.

Time is also related to what you kept in your memory for a specific time frame.

You spend a week at work vs you spend the same week on a nice vacation making lots of new memories. Which one you'll feel took longer despite being the same?

Vsauce just released a video about it https://youtu.be/zHL9GP_B30E



- Don't be afraid to try new things. (this is tech, jobs, locations, people, everything...)

- Don't be hard on yourself if something you thought was going to be "cool" or "interesting" turns out to not be.

- Don't be afraid to do the things that no one else wants to do.

- Evaluate your work/life balance and DO NOT let your work over take your life in the long run.

- Companies don't give a *$%# about you as a person, only what value you bring to them as a company. In a lot of ways that is a good thing but understand that when push comes to shove you are expendable.


- Save for retirement, as much as you can (gentle voice, as this can be very challenging at times). Compound interest is an amazing beast that will set you up for life.

- Every raise you get put a % in retirement, and keep the rest. You need a real time reward for your hard work as much as you need to save. "Treat Yo Self"

- If you need help. ASK FOR IT. Don't sit around and wait for someone to hand you the answer. People are there just waiting to give you all the help you need.

- If you ask for help and get a crappy response, file away that person's response and ask someone else.

- Record milestones and keep them safe. Then when you need (in the low times) review those milestones and recognize how much you've accomplished. Essentially try to step away from the canvas and get out of the moment in time problem you are stuck in.

Last and most important:

- Help others, without ego, where you can. You got here by receiving help from so many people, pay that forward.

Amazing! Thank you very much for sharing.

Put you retirement funds in something like Vanguard. Vanguard is customer owned but any low load broad based index fund will work.


Also, setup automatic funding every month and never sell anything. Buying is easy, selling is easy, holding is hard but you'll be glad you did during every dip.

This. I knew better and still tried to play games last March/April and I'm ~5-10% poorer for my efforts.

Look back at "The Great Recession", had you bought anything, anytime between 2006-2012, you're better off today (Assuming you stayed employed and were not over-leveraged).

This is different from HODL-ing. If you double your money in a few hours, you were probably gambling and you should look for a less volatile asset to move into while you're ahead.

Money should flow to things in roughly this order: Max out your employer match, pay off high interest debt, Fully fund your Roth IRA, continue to try to max out traditional 401k then modify contributions to Roth 401k as you can afford. Once you're saving that ~24k per year and are debt free, then look to retail investing, paying off a car/home early.

If you aren't in a home but will want to be, there is some truth to the housing ladder and home equity is no joke. But remember home ownership isn't an investment, it is a lifestyle.

Can you say more about what you mean about home ownership being a lifestyle as opposed to an investment?

I'm guessing what you mean is that houses require upkeep and they also come with certain benefits (e.g. more freedom with what you do with the house), but I'm wondering if you meant something different?

Vanguard has some nice funds for this for people who just want to invest and forget about it until retirement.

They have one targeting people retiring in 2065 (born 1998-2002), one for 2060 (born 1993-1997), and so on down to one for people who retired in 2015 (born 1949-1952), and one for people who were born before 1949.

Each of these invests in other Vanguard funds. As it gets closer to their target year, they decrease their stock fund holdings and increase their bond fund holdings.

The 2055 one, which would be the one aimed at someone who is currently 30, is 90% stock, 9% bonds. The stock fund portion is split about 60/40 between a Vanguard total US stock market fund and a Vanguard total international stock market fund.

Amen. I'm 43, and started putting money into Vanguard around the age of 40. I absolutely wish I'd started at the age of 30; even just a bit here and there. I have money in index funds, and a Roth IRA. I have seen overall returns of 20%, though I understand that's an anomaly from the past few years.

Second that, started putting away money in Vanguard (in addition to 401K) in my 30s, looking good 20+ years later

What's the alternative to vanguard for someone living in the EU? I looked into it, and in my country it doesn't seem possible to do anything with vanguard itself.

Instead of being obsessed by financial investments, try to invest in yourself, you are your best asset. Everyone already said about training your body, I can't agree more.

Train your mind too: learn to not being angry, to be more tolerant, to lower your ego, to reduce your anxiety, to understand yourself and others, etc. Read a lot about human feelings. Be an appeased person.

In addition, Learning high value and rare skills will probably bring more money to you than random BTC buying, in addition of making you feel proud.

This hits really hard, thank you! Will invest in myself.


If you don't like exercising or aren't able to do so conventionally, keep exploring until you find something you enjoy that keeps you fit. You lose what you don't use. The benefits are proven and unenumerable, everything from improved mood and better overall health, plus being strong or a good lover improve your well-being in non-obvious ways.

I would argue that the whole idea of thinking about exercise as something you have to enjoy is overrated.

Do you enjoy cleaning your house or doing your taxes? Do your enjoy taking your car in for maintenance?

Sure some people enjoy some or all of those things, but you still have to do them regardless. They're a part of being a responsible adult.

Likewise, regular exercise is a part of being a responsible steward of your own health and well-being. Establishing the habit, regardless of how much you enjoy it, is as important for your long-term well-being as regularly contributing to your retirement account.

Now does that mean you have to choose an exercise modality that you hate? No, of course not. But there are some tried and true modalities that are extremely effective and don't have to be torture. You might find them boring at first, but they're effective and if you could bottle their effects in a pill, you'd be the richest person on the planet.

I get where you are coming from. The idea of finding exercise that you enjoy doing is based on the thinking that you're more likely to continue to do something you enjoy.

Unlike cleaning or doing taxes, there are lots of very different ways to exercise. And most humans are conditioned to enjoy some form of exercise. It's likely you can find some activity that will give you a nice dopamine hit to keep you encouraged.

Plus, you never know what you might enjoy until you try it. I never thought I liked sports until college, when I discovered a love for playing tennis, squash, and flag football. I still hate watching any of these sports on TV, but I do love playing them.

Tremendous advice for any age, but especially for 30.

Why? Because at 30 you still have time to develop great habits that last the rest of your life. Also the time when you can develop good muscle mass to prevent additional stress on your joints and delay potential back/joint pain from say 40, to 50-55.

If anything, I would say unenumerable.

Thanks, that's what I meant to type but didn't.

I came here just to say this.

Without knowing anything about your personal situation, my specific advice will have little value. A better exercise would be this:

Imagine you could have a half-hour conversation with yourself 10 years from now. Once you're done with the "what stock is about to blow up?" and "who will win the world series?" questions, what advice would you seek? What do you think Older You would say in response? Bonus points for journaling it out.[1]

I've found this exercise especially valuable for certain problems and goals. You can draw some pretty remarkable insights by separating from the emotions of the current moment and reframing your perspective.

[1] derived from this discussion: https://tim.blog/2020/02/27/josh-waitzkin-beginners-mind-sel...

1. Start paying attention to your thought and feelings.

2. Find a good therapist.

3. Speak with the therapist about inconsistencies between your thoughts, feelings and who you want to be.

any advice on how to find a good therapist?

Comfort level is huge. If you don't feel like you can talk to them, they aren't worth having. You need to be able to be completely open for it to work.

this is something that I struggle with.

don't be afraid to keep looking, I suppose. some people go through a dozen before finding one that works for them!

You're younger than you think. You can still drastically alter the course of your life

Think about if you want to have kids later. If you want and your path there is not obvious yet, now is the time for you to prioritize finding that special someone.

Keep in mind that the character traits that make someone an exciting one night stand might be the opposite of the character traits that you'll want in a long term term relationship where you live together all the time.

I know that covid makes this advice very difficult to follow :(

Take care of your body. Stretch. Warm up. 30 is the threshold where you start to really lose the ability to heal. You can injure yourself now and your body just won't heal back to 100%. Ever.

Can confirm this, sadly. I turned 30 right around the time COVID hit and immediately stopped my usual exercise activities due to restrictions. A year later and I’m constantly nursing stupid injuries from nothing. My body simply isn’t bouncing back like it used to

Maybe you can increase your Lysine [0] intake. Amazon sells pure Lysine tabs [1]. I should warn you though, they're a bit big to swallow and have a slight after-taste.

[0] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/lysine-benefits

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Elements-Complex-Vitamin-Veget...

Lysine is an amino acid so you can just get protein from varied sources and you’ll likely get enough. Taking a lysine supplement is like taking a bcaa supplement. Entirely unnecessary if your dietary protein intake is high enough and from varied sources

Don't spend 3 years without going to the dentist like a certain idiot who is commenting on your post. Just because you're not feeling pain it doesn't mean the little creatures aren't eating the insides of your teeth.

Toothbrushes are cheaper than fillings. And fillings are cheaper than root canals. I think we need better ways of terrorizing kids about their oral health because it seems like a lot of lessons don't stick.

Not to mention that to all of those things you can swap "cheaper" with faster and less painful, and it still holds true.

Not sure about that. I’m in my late 40s and have smashed the crap out of myself quite badly in the last 20 years. I’m sure it’ll catch up with me eventually but at the moment I am peak fitness.

What is important is being healthy enough to heal. That means you need to eat well, exercise regularly and give yourself time to heal if you have to.

Edit: to be clear the injuries are obtained through risky sporting activities not through general wear and tear and general exercise.

To clarify my point about healing, most people don’t give themselves time to heal properly at any age and end up with a compromised outcome.

> and have smashed the crap out of myself quite badly in the last 20 years

Right... isn't that what they're saying happens if you don't exercise enough so proving their point?

Actually that’s because I do a lot of high impact activities with some risk. The risks don’t always work out.

Be consistent with your goals, this applies to any age. In 5 years, you'll wish you had spent more time on your goals (budget, hobby, etc.)

I know people are indifferent of sam altman, but I really like this article he posted https://blog.samaltman.com/the-days-are-long-but-the-decades...

Get your personal finances in order. Pay off all non-house non-car debt. Spend less. Start saving for retirement. Get a promotion and put all of that extra money in a boring low fee target date fund. You can expect to be able to live off of 4% of your investments for at least 30 years. For example, if you have $1M in investments, you can safely withdraw $40k / year from that. Plan accordingly.

> Start saving for retirement.

This should actually be advice given to 20 year olds. Compound interest is magic:

If you put $5,000 aside every year and invest it at 7% p.a. from age 20-30 and then stop putting more money aside for the remainder of your life, you will have more money than if you started investing $5,000 each year starting at age 30 and for the rest of your life.

> Get a promotion

Easier said than done.

You are going to need to fight to maintain your physical fitness levels from your 20s. If you didn't need to do much to stay fit before you may suddenly find yourself having to do a lot just to keep the same basic level, and you may not be prepared for how much self-motivation will required to do that.

1h+ of moderate-to-heavy exercise daily for the rest of your life. get to and commit to remaining squarely in the middle of the healthy weight range for your height.

pick one high skill cap activity (so, any activity) separate from your work and commit to 300h a year of trying to get better at it for at least the next decade. do not directly aim to make money with this activity, just try to get as good as you can. (obv if you already have something like that that you enjoy, just keep going with that).

Commit to using the time left after carving out space for the above to doing whatever you need to become financially independent by 40, if you are not already. Make a 10 year plan for how you are going to get there and focus on carrying it out. This should be a very achievable goal given that you are on Hacker News.

Whatever you decide to do professionally, focus on craftsmanship, particularly when no one is looking. The people that focus on craftsmanship enjoy their work more and get better results.

Happy birthday! If you made it this far, your life expectancy is a lot higher now. That means you should probably start thinking longer term -- whereas in your late teens you thought about college, in college you thought about your twenties, and in your twenties you were busy with your career, in your thirties you should start thinking about retirement.

The two items that are going to dominate your retirement are your finances and your health. If any one of these suffers, the other will as well. So start saving if you haven't already, or increase your savings otherwise. Be mindful what you put in your body, not only drugs and alcohol but food as well. Stop "trying" to exercise, do both aerobic and anaerobic exercises, consistently.

That said: you're not done with life. So keep learning, keep growing, keep enjoying every day. Set goals and work on them.

Focus on finances and health for retirement! Thanks for your advice.

Don't follow trends and hype, health and fitness is key, the sooner the better, find someone who makes you want to be better for youself, them and the world. Spend less and save more.

And the great Kardnial Offishal has imprinted the following quote in my head for life.

"Half the bullshit I thought, I'm glad I never said it"

Since nobody seems to have said it yet:

Happy Birthday! :)

Thank you very much!!

Exercise regularly. Eat a healthy diet. If you don't wake up feeling rested, talk to your doctor and see about going for a sleep study or whatever.

You can never know too much math.

Read The Four Steps To The Epiphany

- Buy and hold BTC, keep it simple. Quit job when you can live from 4% of your wealth and sell a few years worth of BTC at that point to stomach the volatility

- Regular health checks: you will start having health problems, but nobody knows what exactly

- Dating may get harder in 10 years, decide fast if you want wife/children

- eating the same amount of food that you did will get you fatter. You can balance it of course.

I guess that's it, so enjoy being 30, I loved it :)

Don't worry about anything, don't count anything and do what you like to do.

People will just be giving you advice based on their own subjective values. It might be stuff like "spend more time with your family" or "make sure you're contributing to your pension" or some other abitrary thing someone older is kicking *themselves* about. I'm turning 29 soon. One thing I've learned is you should make sure you are able to listen to yourself and live life according to your own values whatever they may be. We all have to die sometime so I guess make sure you're making the most of your time here on earth according to what *you* truly value. That will surely be time well spent. I understand that this might be paradoxical given I'm clearly giving you advice based on my own values which is self knowledge. My conclusion is why look to others for life advice given that there are practically an unlimited number of ways you can live life, you probably have the answers inside yourself. (EDIT: Psychotherapy might help you find those answers)

People matter. Relationships matter, even if you're an introvert. Get better at interacting with people.

Don't do it, I tried it and it's terrible.

I wish I’d read this advice before I turned 30 last year.

Don't ask for advice, don't follow advice, don't give advice.

These people don't know you.

Learn to know yourself and make your own decisions, live your own life. It's yours to live and it'll be over way faster than you think.

Around this age people get comfortable in their ways and many stop learning new things. Fight this. Learn and try new things professionally and personally. Get out of your comfort zone and try new stuff.

Here is some advice I wish I had followed when I turned 30.

Max out your 401k contributions and use an index fund.

Exercise daily - you've got about a decade before fitness becomes much harder.

See a therapist.

As others mention, consider if you want kids or not.

It is much more difficult to keep up (physically and mentally) with a 3 year old at 50ish than at 30ish.

If you do want it, it's a kind of trap[1] to delay because "the time is not right". It may never be "right", since it is a life changing event.

[1] - except in extreme circumstances, of course.

get a decent bicycle and ride it a lot

Oh wow I just commented the same thing haha

Besides everything everyone else said, keep a book of your friends, and how to contact them. Then as often as you can, reach out to them. Even just a text like "Hey, how's life" is good to keep a friendship going.

Now’s a great time to take inventory of your life. Really focus on “health”. How is your physical health, mental health, social health and fiscal health? Keep in mind those 4 items are not completely independent and it’s a nontrivial multivariable equation to solve. But tackling them one at a time is a valid strategy, just have a plan.

Have a plan and follow it all the way through. Its detail should scale with its time length. For example if you want to get healthy, maybe plan out those weekly meals and exercise. Or you want a house, a fine plan for now is to have one in 2-5 years. Figure out how much, general location and what you need to do today such as how much money to put aside for it. Super detailed long term plans are not necessarily better because you can’t predict the future.

You can’t predict the future but you should know that freak events happens. Eyjafjallajökull, 9/11, fukushima, and coronavirus just to name a few. The recent pandemic has probably put this in perspective for most people but I’ve lost a few loved ones over the recent years, to seemingly unfair and improbable reasons. The next lesson in mortality is just starting and it’s okay to let yourself feel those emotions, even with other people.

Despite what the law says, corporations are not people. There’s always more work and you’re replaceable. Always working isn’t a personality or hobby. Figure out that work life balance. It’s okay to say no and it’s okay to quit.

It’s okay to quit. Sunk cost is a thing. Despite how you might feel you’re still young, there’s still time but don’t waste it. A bad job, a bad relationship, a bad investment is worse than none.

tldr: Invest in index funds, friendship, family and yourself.

Awesome advice, sorry for your losses, thank you very much.

Try to keep the ambition and drive that you had when you were younger. I'm young myself, so I haven't had to face this, but I often see driven and motivated people become complacent once they hit that 30 mark.

Save more money.

Move, sit, pick, and carry in such a way as to protect your back. Lift with your legs, not your back. Face the load you're lifting.

Leave your comfort zone. Move to another country, learn a new language and embrace another culture.

You don’t have to live where you were born. Find a place where you feel like it’s ok to be you and a group of people who like you and share your values.

you'll spend the rest of your life helping other people. Dont fight this - it is a good thing.

Buy a good bicycle and explore.

don't worry about it for one single second. Turning 30 is no different than any other day. It only has power if you define it with power.

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