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How to Start Saving for Retirement

When it comes to saving for retirement, it’s tempting to put it off. Here are 11 reasons why you should start now, if you haven’t.

A retirement jarJohn Harper / Getty Images


2. I’m young; there is plenty of time to save for retirement later.

This is one of the most seductive retirement lies. For a good long while, it is true that retirement is a ways off. (Even if you’re 55, it’s still at least 10 years away.) Unsurprisingly, a quarter of women aged 25-32 in the Chase/LearnVest study said that retirement is so far off they have little interest in learning about it. Even five percent of women aged 45-54 still feel that way.

But time moves along faster than you think: The study also showed that six percent of women aged 45-54 had less than $5,000 saved for retirement. Those women are in a serious game of catch-up now.

Need more motivation to start today? Consider this: The longer you put off saving for retirement, the more difficult it will be for you to save.

Let’s say your goal is to save $1 million for retirement.

If you start saving for retirement when you’re 25, you’ll only have to contribute slightly less than $6,500 a year to reach that goal by the time you turn 65. Still, if you’re 25 and making $35,000 a year, $6,500 probably seems like a lot. Contributing that amount will leave you $28,500 a year to live on. Not ideal.

But if you wait until you’re 45 and making more money—let’s say, $60,000 a year—and start contributing then, you’ll have to contribute $28,185 a year to get to your retirement goal of $1 million! And that leaves you less than $32,000 a year to live on. But if you had started at 25, you would still be contributing just $6,500 a year at age 45, so you would have $53,500 a year to live on—not bad.

3. When I get married someday I won’t have to worry about money.

Whether or not marriage makes your financial life easier or not depends on a whole host of factors: Do you both work? Do you both make enough to support yourselves? Could one or both of you get laid off? Or get sick? Will one of you stay home? Will one or both of you switch careers? Will one or both of you receive an inheritance? Are you honest with each other about your spending? Do you agree on your financial goals? Will you have children? If so, will you pay for their college educations?

Want more proof that marriage won’t relieve your retirement worries? Here’s the age breakdown of women who reported they “would probably rely on my partner in order to save for retirement” in our Chase/LearnVest study: 23 percent of women aged 25-32 but only 12 percent of women age 45-54. It appears that as women get older, they become more realistic about retirement.

Bottom line: In marriage, your money worries change, but they won’t go away, and your main money concern—retirement—will always be there whether you get married or not.

If that still hasn’t convinced you, keep in mind that saving for retirement is harder for women, so it’s something we, married or single, need to focus on more than men.

Read More About:Saving

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