When you prioritize a set of tasks, you probably often order them by deadline, right? The things that have to be done today get taken care of first, and the things that have to be done tomorrow go next, and so on.
Given that this system seems to work well for most tasks in our lives, it’s easy to see how people keep putting off saving for retirement. It’s so far off it seems like there will always be time later to work on it.
Another good reason we put it off is that we think it’ll make more sense when we’re making more money. This excuse is seductive because it sounds financially responsible: ”Saving for retirement right now doesn’t make sense for my budget,” you tell yourself.
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But here’s the truth about saving for retirement: You can’t make up for lost time—no matter what your budget is. Today, we’re going to explain why this is so, and give you practical tips on how to save now. Right now.
Because, simply put, putting off saving for retirement is the worst thing you can do for the rest of your financial life.
Why the ‘Right’ Time Never Comes
Think about when you started your first job after college.
At that time, you might have been overwhelmed by student loan payments or determined to pay off the credit card debt you accumulated in college. Or maybe you were just focused on covering your rent and groceries.
Odds are, retirement—which was four decades away—was pretty low on your priority list. “When someone graduates, they’re so busy celebrating their new employment that they don’t stop to think about retirement benefits through their new job,” says Katie Brewer, a LearnVest Planning Services certified financial planner™.