As a person in their twenties, maybe you’re not thinking about retirement savings yet. You probably have other financial obligations that get priority in your life over investments and contributions to retirement funds. Still, it’s something that you should think about because the sooner you start planning for your future, the more money you’ll have to live off of when you do leave the workforce. So you need to ask yourself, if not now, when?
If you start saving and investing in your 20s now, you can take advantage of employer contributions that help you reach your financial goals faster. Think of it as free money that the companies you work for throughout your life give you to set you up for financial success in the future. Your desire to max out employee contributions while your debt and living expenses remain relatively low can set you up for comfortable living as a retired person.
Consult this article for descriptions of simple and compound interest, 401K contributions, and ways to grow your wealth early in your working career. As a young person just starting out, you have the opportunity to set up a system for yourself to follow through each stage of your life. By the time you reach retirement age, you’ll have saved and invested a significant sum of money that you can use once you stop working. By then, you’ll qualify for social security benefits and have money put away that allows you to live the type of lifestyle that you feel the most comfortable with physically and financially.
Simple Interest and How It Affects Your Retirement Savings
Here’s how your money grows with simple interest. If you were to invest $5,000 a year in a retirement fund with an interest rate of five percent annually, you’d see a significant increase in what you’ve invested in five to ten years.
The first year, you’ll have $5,250. That’s $250 more than what you started with initially. By the fifth year, your $5,000 investment will have grown to $6,250. You’re looking at $1,250 earned from interest. The tenth year of having the money in a retirement account will yield you $7,500 for an extra $2,500. Now, imagine investing $5,000 a year for as long as you’re at an employer because the money adds up fast. In ten years, you can put away $50,000 and have significantly more than you dreamed you would have saved as a person your age.
What is Compound Interest, and Why Does It Matter?
Compound interest is ideal because it allows the interest that you’ve earned to earn interest. That means even more money for you! If you look at the compound interest of a yearly investment, your initial $5,000 would be $5,250 the first year. Then, it would continue to compound until it reached $6,381.41 by the fifth year and $8,144.47 by the tenth year.
Note that you will need to account for interest earned on your personal income tax forms. It’s important to know that you’ll pay taxes on it at your standard rate of taxation. So your earnings aren’t 100 percent free unless you put them in a tax-sheltered account. Still, investing in your 20s with as much money as you can stand to put away is an exceptionally wise way to start building yourself a sizable nest egg.
Employer Matching of 401K Contributions
If your employer offers a 401K with matched contributions, you should take advantage of the benefit. You’re able to maximize what you save for retirement through a traditional plan that includes pre-tax dollars or a Roth 401K funded by post-tax dollars. Employers match a certain percentage of your salary, which is a quick and easy way to build a sizeable retirement savings before you reach your thirties. It’s a great incentive to invest in your future and even gives you a reason to carefully weigh your options when it comes to picking employers to work for in your twenties.
Spend Your Twenties Getting Your Financial Affairs in Order
Saving and investing in your financial future can be exciting at any age. It’s especially worthwhile in your twenties because you’re making smart money moves early. You’ll be able to earn and save a significant sum of money in your lifetime. That means that you’ll be better prepared for retirement when that time in your career arrives.
You’ll leave the workforce better prepared for what will take place next in your life. You’ll be able to live comfortably and take care of the expenses that come up with ease because you decided to invest young. If you’re willing to start early, you’ll have more time to amass wealth and earn interest off the investments you make. That way, you’re never without the things that make your life comfortable and happy.