Retirement: the distant fantasy of no work and all play that comes after career. But how much do you know about planning for retirement? Maybe the thought of saving for this milestone 30 or more years down the road has yet to cross your mind. "Save early. Save often." is a good practice to follow when thinking about saving for your retirement. Here's why:
With the widespread use of compounded interest in retirement plans, it's never too early to start saving; compounded interest allows you to get the most out of your contributions, no matter the amount. With simple interest, you only earn interest on your investment, not on the interest that you earn. With compound interest, your annual interest is determined by the total of your investment plus any interest already accrued.
For example, let's take a look at Bill and Benjamin. Bill decides on a plan with simple interest and begins saving for retirement at age 40, putting in an initial investment of $10,000 and contributing $400 per month with a 6% annual rate of return. Benjamin, on the other hand, goes for compound interest and begins saving at age 25, starting with no initial balance and contributing $200 per month with the same 6% annual rate of return. Both men retire at age 65, Bill with $322,069 and Benjamin with $400,290.
Who would you rather be in your sixties: Bill or Benjamin?
Talk with your plan provider about your different investment options for your retirement plan; they can help make sure you're getting the biggest bang for your buck. And check out this chart for a helpful guide to saving for retirement.