BOSTON (CBS) – There are so many excuses I have heard why people don’t save for retirement. The recent college grads, those who don’t have jobs, have legitimate excuses but the rest of you don’t have any excuses for not saving.

If you are working you should be saving for retirement. Some of the best excuses I have heard: “The market is crazy right now so I will wait until the economy is in better shape. I will wait until I get married so we can do it together. I will wait until after I buy a house. I will wait until I have my credit card debt paid off. I will wait until the kids are through college. I will wait until I have more money. I will wait until I am older. I am going to inherit my parents’ house so I don’t need to save.”

Don’t fall into that trap. Retirement planning should start with your first job. Your very first job! You may not have a lot of money to contribute to the plan but it always amazes me how much you can accumulate if you start early. Why because you have time on your side. A long time!

For example, if you start with your first job at age 22 and you are able to put away $1,000 a year for the next 45 years until you are 67 and able to collect your full Social Security benefit and we assume a 8% return which is doable over 45 years, you could have close to $500,000 in your nest egg. Not bad!

But what if every time you get a raise you share that raise with your retirement plan? Well in 45 years you could have over a $1 million in that account. That’s not shabby and what that means is you won’t have to work at Wal-Mart as a greeter to supplement your Social Security income unless you want to.

So what it will take to save that $1,000 a year? What can you do differently to save some bucks? Pack your lunch: Save on average $4 a day, $20 a week. There’s your $1,000.

Make coffee in the morning at home. You can still have your Dunkin Donut’s coffee, but now you buy it by the pound instead of the cup. You can also get the Dunkin Donut’s coffee pods now.

Eat breakfast at home before you leave for work. Cook dinner at home instead of doing take-out! That’s another biggie!

Do the DVD rental routine instead of going to the movies.  Better than renting, stop at the library where there is no rental fee. Use public transportation, pump your own gas, visit mom on Sunday and eat free. I just had to throw that one in! That’s what my kids used to do and they took home the leftovers for lunches!


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