This is the age when people start saving for retirement

Saving to retirement is a lifelong process. One-third of Americans believe they will need between $ 1 million and $ 3 million saved to retire comfortably, according to a report by Charles Schwab, and saving so much money takes decades of hard work.

But when you are young and just starting your career, retirement is probably the last thing on your mind. It's easy to set aside savings for another day, especially when you may have mortgage loans, child expenses, student loans and laundry over other financial tasks to think about. However, let it be too long, and before you know it, you are just a few years away from retirement with little or nothing saved for your golden years.

Although it is never too late to save at least something for retirement, it is never too early. The sooner you start, the easier it is to build a strong and solid nest egg for the future.

  Pile of cash with stopwatch

Image source: Getty Images.

The most common age to start saving [19659007] Nearly four in ten workers began saving for retirement in their 20s, a recent Morning Consult study found. About a quarter began in their 30s, and another quarter waited until their 40s or longer to start saving. In addition, 8% of workers stared very young, before the age of 20.

A separate Nationwide survey found that among all American workers, the average age to start saving was 31 years. This is promising news, because if you start saving in your early 30s, you still have decades to build your retirement fund. However, wait a lot longer than that, and you have to save a lot more each month to reach your retirement goals.

Say, for example, that you want to retire at the age of 65 with $ 700,000 in the pension fund. If you started saving at the age of 31, you would have to save around $ 450 per month, assuming you earn a 7% annual return on your investment. But if you waited 40 years to start saving, you would have to save about $ 925 a month to reach your goal. Delay for 50 years and you have to save about $ 2300 per month.

Although retirement seems a long way off, it will be here before you know it. And saving for retirement is not something you can do overnight – or even 10 to 15 years of preparation. It takes decades to save consistently to make a nest egg worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and the longer you set aside to save, the harder it will be to recover.

How to recover if you are off to a late start

If you keep up your savings, not all hope is lost. There are a few things you can do to ensure that you can afford to live a comfortable and enjoyable retirement life.

First, create a budget to chart all of your spending and see if there are areas where you can cut. Depending on how far behind you are in retirement planning, you may need to make smaller cuts or significant sacrifices to save as much as you need.

Sometimes all it takes is several small adjustments to save a lot more each month. Divide the costs into different categories based on how necessary they are, and try to trim spending by at least a few dollars in each category. If you are seriously behind on savings, you may need to take more drastic measures – such as selling your car or reducing your home. If you are unable to save anything more now, just remember that you will probably need to make big sacrifices in retirement. With little to nothing saved, you may end up depending on the social security benefits you can get. And when the average check is just $ 1,471 a month, you may find yourself struggling to make ends meet.

That said, Social Security can help make retirement a little more comfortable financially. Although you may not be dependent on it for all your expenses (your benefits are designed to replace only around 40% of your early income), it can help bridge the gap between what you have and what you need. And if you don't have much in terms of personal savings, you may be able to increase your social security benefits to make up for it.

One way to do that is to defer claims. The only way to receive the full benefit amount you are entitled to is to claim at full retirement age (FRA). Claim before that (already at the age of 62) and you will get a benefit reduction of up to 30%. But delay past the OFF (up to 70 years) and you will receive extra money each month in addition to the full benefit amount. If you struggle to save, the profitable promise can go a long way.

It is never a perfect time to save for retirement. When you are young, you may think you have a good time. But it takes longer than you might think to prepare for the future, especially as retirement becomes more expensive. No matter the age, the key is to get started now.

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