Planning for your retirement is one of the most important steps you can take. It’s also one of the easiest decisions to procrastinate. When you’re young, retirement looks a long way away. It’s a much smaller problem than the need to make rent, pay off student loans, and survive on a first job’s income. As you move up the career ladder, those concerns will fade but you’ll pick up new ones. You’ll worry about the need to save for a deposit on a home long before you start to think about how you’ll live when once you’ve given up working.
Then come the costs of raising a family, paying for healthcare, and building a college fund.
It’s much easier to hope that you’ll win the lottery or build a successful business or land a high-paying job than to deal with the details of retirement funds.
It’s no wonder that according to the US Department of Labor only 40 percent of Americans have calculated how much they need to retire. As much as 30 percent of people who have access to a defined contribution plan such as a 401(k) from their workplace fail to participate. That’s a shocking figure that underlines the size of the opportunity that American workers are wasting.
That has to change. The best time to start preparing for your retirement is ten years ago. The second best time is now.