I Wish I’d Started Saving When I Was Younger…

My mother gave me a lot of great advice when I was growing up, but she wasn’t a money person. Sure, she worked hard and we made ends meet as a family, but finance wasn’t her forte. So when it came to talking about investment in our household, it was mostly related to things like shopping –“Those shoes are classic – think of them as an investment piece.”


Great advice for learning how to treat myself and shop wisely – not so good from a savings and investment perspective.


If there is one piece of advice I wish someone had given me when I was young, it would have been to start saving for retirement right then and there. The argument for saving early is hugely compelling, especially when you crunch the numbers. The earlier you start to save, the less you actually have to put aside over time.


Let’s take a simple example: had I started putting aside money at 21, I could have saved $2,000 a year for just eight years ($18,000) and had nearly $400,000 in savings by the time I was 65 (assuming a pre-tax return of 8%).


Contrast that with the age I actually started saving, 30: to save $400,000, I would have had to invest four times as much – nearly $70,000 over 35 years (versus eight years at 21). I’m still working at it!


If someone had shown me those numbers back when I was in my early 20s, I would have started socking it away. At least, I’d like to think so. At that age, I thought only rich, old people invested their money – I never thought I had enough. But time is on your side when you’re young, so even saving just a hundred dollars a month can get you that much further ahead. Plus, it builds good savings habits for later on.


So some advice to you younger readers (that I wish I’d had!) – start saving for retirement early! It’s worth it.


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6 Responses to I Wish I’d Started Saving When I Was Younger…

  1. Manny says:

    I am 31 and have saved just over $400,000. I am a commisioned officer in the Army and have been doing some hardcore saving since I joined the service back in 2006. I have only been saving for 6 years and I did not invest in the market or any 401k system. I just simply lived below my means, cut out all uneeded expenses, cooked at home (ate out maybe once per month), did not get caught up in all the silly gadgets like $3,000 Macbooks, I phones, blackbarries, huge flat screen TVs, etc. It is amazing what people can do if they just live below their means for a few years. Unfortunetly, Americans have no concept of this whatsoever. I don’t feel sorry for people who spend their money on new cars every 3 years, buy all the latest gadgets and gizmos and then in the same sentence complain about not being able to save money.

    • Deb says:

      That is awesome, I also try to live and save money, it is hard not to get caught up in the living up with the Jones. I have trouble with wanting to buy things we are taught newer is better. I think that your saving rthym is great.

  2. Arnold Eaves says:

    Iam 93 years of age. I inveted in bank mutual Monthly icome funds, and lost $11000. My major investments are in GICs,.

  3. Jeff says:

    There are social shopping sites to save money, a simple objective to get the right information quickly is luboh.com it allows people to ask and tell their selected friends and also tell the world anonymously. Useful for people anywhere in the world to find how much products and services cost and where they can get them from. It also has price comparisons within a geolocation.

  4. Vanessa dort says:

    you dont give much inforemation.how do you save money.do you save it in you piggy bank untel its ful.

  5. I was fortunate enough to have an older lady friend ( her teenage daughter baby sat my son) and we’re still friends today.
    Her rule was 10% Retirement. I’m not sure if we did 10% all the time, but most years we did.
    She taught me about RESP’s …. I started out with $25 per month when my son was in diapers, that amount now is $100 for two kids, ( Yes I could probably put in more)
    That was 15 years ago.
    My husband thinks we’ll be able to retire in 13 years. Well him at least. He’s 45 right now.

    We only moved once, and we’ll be mortgage free Next year.
    Yes we have a flat screen tv, 1 newer jeep ( I drove the first one for 10 years, and now my son has it) We have our toys.

    We could be better with our finances, but we are on the road to retirement.