You’re young, you just landed a new job and you’re going to be getting a decent pay check. You also have bills and student loans to pay and there are also a few items that you’ve always wanted so now you can finally afford them.
Investing for your retirement may be the last thing on your mind at the start of a new career. Especially being so young. Take some advice from those with a little more experience: Start investing early in your career. Start from day one and you will never miss that money you’re setting aside. Even if it’s only a few dollars a week. They add up to millions by the time retirement age rolls around.
It really does make a difference when you start contributing. It is important to invest in your retirement account early in your career for two reasons. First, if you’re fortunate to receive matching contributions, you don-t want to miss out on those added contributions that are a significant part of your benefit. Second, the longer contributions stay in your account, the more you stand to gain. Your money makes money in the form of earnings, and those earnings in turn make money, and so on. This is what is known as the “miracle of compounding.” As money grows in your account over time, the proportion resulting from earnings will become larger compared to the proportion resulting from contributions. And the best part is you don’t have to pay taxes on the earnings until you with draw them.
By investing the money wisely, typically starting off with investments that build slowly but steadily, you are able to better ensure you have money for your later years. And just because your later years are far away doesn’t mean you should wait to invest. The thing is that the best investments are the ones that take time to pay off. The ones that make you rich over night are few and far between and are also the ones that are risky enough to make you broke overnight as well.
The size of your account balance is going to depend on how much you (and your company if they match funds up to a certain percentage) contribute to your account and how your account grows as a result of earnings on your investments. To get an idea of what your retirement account could be in the future, look at the following projection.
A starts putting away $100 a month when she’s 22. Her money grows at 8 percent a year, and after ten years she stops contributing – and lets her stake grow. B waits until he’s 32 to set aside $100 a month, also growing at 8 percent a year, and he keeps it up until he hits 64. When they both retire at 64, she will have $234,600, and he’ll have only $177,400. Need I say more?
Looking at the numbers, it’s hard to imagine why someone wouldn’t start investing immediately!