One of the greatest misconceptions around saving for retirement is that there is a time and place to save for retirement. Some people make it seem like you will never be able to even save for retirement if you don’t start in your teenage years. While it’s true that the longer that you have to save for retirement, the easier it will be to have a very large nest egg with minimal effort. This is because the time value of money principle comes into play, along with compound interest.
However, there’s also something to be said about the power and wonder of being older. When you’re younger, you may not realize how important it really is to save for retirement. In addition, you most likely have a much better job now than when you were in your teenage years. This will allow you to set aside more money for your retirement, as well as to take advantages of the factors in your environment. For example, you may be married at the moment, which is something that was highly unlikely in your teens. Having someone else that can support you while you make contributions to your joint retirement account is definitely a good thing. Tapping the account is a bad idea, and having a second person there to remind you of this is definitely a good thing.
You should never think that it’s too late to save for retirement, especially in today’s digital culture. For example, there are now retirement accounts that allow you to actually take money out of your checking or savings account and put it right into a tax-deferred account. When you feel that you will be in a lower tax bracket during your retirement years, you are far better off pursuing tax-deferred options that allow you to really make the most out of today’s pre-tax dollars.
If you’re starting to save for retirement much later in life, you will also be allowed to contribute far more to your retirement fund than someone that isn’t close to retirement age. This will encourage you to pursue investments that have a higher rate of return, such as what you’ll find within mutual funds and bonds. Putting your money in a bank account is safe, but it won’t help your money to grow properly.
Good retirement-oriented investing is a matter of knowing how much risk you actually want to take on, as well as making sure that you can grow your portfolio with enough time before your retirement years.
Of course, keep in mind that your portfolio doesn’t just disappear once you hit retirement; you will still be able to grow it some more. There’s no need to feel like once you hit retirement, you will just have to deal with whatever money that you have. You need to make sure that you have a solid foundation, but your portfolio will continue to march on without you really having to do too much.
So, what’s the bottom line here? Well, if you pick up nothing else, know this — it really is never too late to save for retirement!