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5 Essential Life Skills for Young Adults to Learn in their 30s

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If entering your 20s is about learning how to become independent as a young working adult, entering your 30s is about learning how to become more reliable. Whether it’s now having a spouse, children, aged parents, subordinates, new pets or house plants, you start needing more complex life skills to help you thrive in managing your responsibilities and succeed in your various roles.

Here’s 5 essential skills to master in your 30s so that you’re better equipped to navigate through the turbulence and roadblocks in your life journey.

1. Being resilient

A few years ago, if you didn’t like your job, you might have resigned even without a new job lined up. As you mature and have a mortgage (or rent) to pay and mouths to feed, you realise that you can’t afford to quit each time you are faced with challenges. 

The stronger you are at continuing with your responsibilities despite enduring hardship and grief, the more resilient and successful you’ll become. This might look like being proactive in looking for solutions, keeping yourself motivated and learning from experience. 

2. Managing your stress

As our parents also grow older, they may need more help and support from us. Adults in their 30s who are also young parents themselves will start feeling the pressure when they want to give their best to their loved ones from both generations but are short on time and resources.

The demands of being in this “sandwich generation” can get overwhelming, hence learning to manage your stress is extra important in this decade. Otherwise, your mental and physical well-being will suffer. Be attuned to your stress levels and find activities that can help you release tension. Maybe it’s going for a run, connecting with nature or meeting a counsellor — it’s a time to look inward and learn how to best regulate any negative emotions. 

3. Planning long-term investments and your legacy

Not everything about entering 30s is negative – these years may also come with more financial stability as you advance in your career. Here’s an opportune moment to be more strategic with money so that it too can grow. Building an investment portfolio can help you meet your lifestyle aspirations, finance your mortgage loans and also children’s university fees in the medium- and long-term. Planning your estate also ensures that your spouse and children will be supported should something unexpected happen to you. Speak to wealth planners and lawyers to understand more about the legacy planning tools available in Singapore so that your family won’t be unprepared.

4. Communication skills

You’ll find yourself having more difficult conversations as your responsibilities grow. These conversations could be about addressing relationship issues, giving negative feedback at work or standing up for yourself. The more adept you are at relaying your thoughts without burning bridges with the other party, the more effective and confident you’ll become at solving problems both at work and in your personal life.

5. Establishing boundaries and saying “no”

Your 20s may have been filled with saying “yes” to many things as part of exploring what life has to offer, but the tide will start to turn in your 30s. As your time and energy become more precious to you, learning how to say “no” without feeling guilty will protect your sanity. Finding the right words will be one thing, and nurturing a healthy mindset around why boundaries are necessary will be another. Sharpen these skills, and you’ll discover how saying “no” feels good and empowering.

Important notes:

These policies are underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd., a member of Maybank Group.

An Investment-linked Plan (ILP) invests in ILP sub-fund(s). Investments in this plan are subject to investment risks including the possible loss of the principal amount invested. The performance of the ILP sub-fund(s) is not guaranteed and the value of the units in the ILP sub-fund(s) and the income accruing to the units, if any, may fall or rise. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of the future performance of the ILP sub-fund(s).

A product summary and product highlights sheet(s) relating to the ILP sub-fund(s) are available and may be obtained from us via A potential investor should read the product summary and product highlights sheet(s) before deciding whether to subscribe for units in the ILP sub-fund(s).

As buying a life insurance policy is a long-term commitment, an early termination of the policy usually involves high costs and the surrender value, if any, that is payable to you may be zero or less than the total premiums paid. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. This content is for reference only and is not a contract of insurance. Full details of the policy terms and conditions can be found in the policy contract.

This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites ( or

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. Information is correct as at 11 September 2023.

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