When Do You Start Budgeting for Retirement? Now

By Mechel Glass

NEW YORK (DimeSpring) — I can’t emphasize strongly enough how important it is to begin saving for your retirement at the earliest possible age.

The sooner you begin saving, the more time your money will have to grow and give you the cushion you need to afford to retire.

Why do I advocate saving for retirement so soon? It’s because most people will never experience the benefits of a pension or lifetime health coverage enjoyed by those of the previous generation.

So it’s important to begin saving for your retirement as soon as you begin to earn a steady income.

For anyone who is 40 and older, it’s an easy decision to invest a large percentage of your paycheck in a 401(k) or other retirement account.

But for people in their 20s and 30s – and even the 18-year-old who gets their first job out of high school – it is important to begin to set aside even a small percentage of your pay as soon as you can.

I was fortunate to work for a Fortune 500 company during my 20s and I took full advantage of its 401(k) retirement savings plan. I admit that I was well positioned to make the most of this situation.

I didn’t have a lot of debt and I was earning a good salary. In addition to saving enough money for a down payment on a house, I socked away 15% into my retirement account year after year.

The company also matched a percentage of my contributions – which is free money and another reason to save as soon as you can.

My decision to save for retirement at an early age has provided significant benefits already.

By the time I reached my mid-30s, I was in control of my financial life. I worked for the company for several years and by the time I moved on to my next job, I had a solid nest egg at a young age.