There are a number of things that you begin to reflect on as you move further away from college life. These things include: career, travel, life, money, family, friendship, and is this it?
As I move further away from that time in my life, one of the biggest topics that I wish I’d had guidance on was the importance of beginning my retirement savings in my twenties. I spent a lot of time in my twenties: traveling, working hard in between the trips, dancing (I was also a dancer), and just enjoying life.
I don’t necessarily regret doing those things. I do, however, regret not opening up a Roth IRA (Google this) and investing $50 dollars a month and saving for my future. I also regret not cultivating a habit of saving regularly outside of saving for awesome trips abroad.
Let’s be honest, saving for retirement isn’t sexy. Retirement is this vague, misty unknown future. Your future is filled with people and experiences yet to happen.
So, why am I harping on this topic? Because saving for retirement is one of the most important things you can do for your future self besides maintaining your health.
Ask Your Parents
I’d like you to go to your parents and ask them about their retirement plans. Now, this sudden interest in a topic that you may not have mentioned before might freak them out-be prepared.
See what they have to say.
Some parents may be very comfortable talking about their retirement plans and may have been actively instructing their children on finances their whole lives. Other parents may be uncomfortable with the topic. Don’t judge them too harshly, maybe they didn’t have guidance on the topic of money and are struggling themselves. That might be just the scare you need to get on top of your own finances, it’s part of Kim’s story at Eyes on the Dollar.
Find More Stories
Google some retirement stories and read what people are saying about the importance of preparing for retirement early in life. In every retirement calculator, the earlier a person begins saving for retirement the more they will have AND the early savers will always beat people who begin saving later in life.
People are living longer, more vibrant lives as they embrace retirement. So, saving for that future-you is important.
Many young adults will argue that they don’t make enough money to save. But, you can’t tell me that it is impossible to set aside $50 dollars a month towards your future. If you’re overwhelmed by the process of saving for retirement do some research (which you should do anyway) and look at your overall budget. Think about what you could cut back on in your budget so that you can begin saving.
Take the time to read about personal finance. Educate yourself. You can’t claim ignorance! There are libraries everywhere, e-books, and professional financial coaches. Make sure that anyone you work with is well-vetted.
Despite everything, I’m well on my way to have a well-funded retirement fund. But I still wish that I had begun earlier.