Retirement Myth #1: I Can Wait Until I’m Earning More Money To Save For Retirement

BOSTON (CBS) – The reality is if you start later in your working career you will need to save more money than if you had started younger.

The key years for saving have passed you by if you start in your 40s. Your best income producing years may still lie ahead but at 40 you have many more demands on your income compared to your 20s. You could have kids needing braces, college tuition, a mortgage and car loans.

With fewer employers offering pensions to employees today you are going to be responsible for your own retirement savings.

Starting to save for retirement with your first job could give you 45 years or more to accumulate retirement dollars.

The longer you wait to start saving for retirement the more money you will need to save. Many retirees re-enter the workforce because they did not save enough.

And still more retirees will tell you that they would have maxed out their annual retirement contribution if they had a known how much money was needed to retire comfortably.

For example, if you want a $1 million in your retirement nest egg at age 67 and you start saving and investing at age 20 you will need to come up with $166 a month for your retirement account, about $2,000 a year.

If you wait until age 40 to start saving and you want that $1 million will need to save $880 a month, that’s 5 times what a 20-year-old needs to save.

Now I assumed you would invest this money in a retirement plan investing in the stock market and over your working career could average an 8% return which is doable.

On our website I have included a chart to illustrate retirement savings at various times in your working career.

You are never too young or too old to start saving for retirement. I do believe most young workers can have a comfortable retirement if they are disciplined about saving starting with their first job.

One more thing:  A kid in high school with her first job can be introduced to retirement planning by her parents.

A 16-year-old with a summer job earning minimum wage could conceivably earn $3,000 this summer. So what can she do for retirement planning?

Open a Roth IRA. She can contribute up to $5,500 to an IRA. If she is disciplined about this and contributes every year until she reaches age 67 she could very easily have over $1 million in her account.

I would suggest if mom and dad can afford it to help the kids save for retirement by offering to match them dollar for dollar in savings. Gift the kids the money for spending and have them use their earnings for the IRA.

Assumptions:
Future value    $1,000,000
Retirement age    67
Annual return     8%

One               Monthly              Yearly
Age                Time                 Investment      Investment
————    ————         ————       ————
20                  $26,859              $161                $2,208
25                    39,464                243                  3,287
30                    57,986                368                  4,924
35                    85,200               564                   7,451
40                   125,187               876                 11,448
45                   183,941            1,395                 18,032
50                   270,269           2,316                29,629
55                   397,114            4,158                 52,695
60                   583,490           8,920              112,072
65                   857,339

………………..

You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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Comments

One Comment

  1. Mary Nikko says:

    The key is to start saving/investing early in life and be consistent (save with every paycheck). Taking advantage of a matching 401k plan should be a no brainer. The power of compounding is lost on many people. Also maxing out contributions when possible, eliminating debt, avoiding risks with your nest egg, planning for multiple streams of income once retired (social security, pensions, dividends, part time work, etc.) and making catch up contributions once you reach 50 should all be part of everyone’s plan. And work at staying healthy to reduce illness, injuries and medical costs. I recently found the site Retirement And Good Living which provides information on all these issues as well as many other retirement topics and also has several retirement and health calculators.

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