Personal finance

After earning your first job, how to start saving for retirement

Writing for BUILT BY GIRLS, which equips the next generation of female and non-binary leaders to assume their positions of authority and launch their careers, is Carol Chan. WAVE, a 1:1 matching program that connects high school and college students with top tech professionals around the nation, is the foundation of BUILT BY GIRLS. Visit for additional details and to register.

You’re probably far ahead of most people when it comes to retirement savings if you’re reading this. Since everyone has unique circumstances and financial objectives, there is also no “correct” plan that applies to everyone.

Having said that, the best piece of advise I can give is to start saving for retirement as soon as you can. Why? due to the effect of compound interest. Interest that is gained on money that has already earned interest is known as compound interest. Alternatively put, interest on interest. Although it may be challenging to grasp at first, it simply refers to making your money work for you.

Here is an actual instance: Let’s imagine you begin contributing $1,000 per month to a retirement plan with an average yearly interest rate of 5% when you are 25 years old. When you reach retirement age of 65, your savings would total $1.45 million. However, your retirement fund would only be slightly less than $800,000 if you waited until you were 35 to begin making the same level of contributions. Yes, that is still a large sum of money, but what if you had begun sooner? (I calculated the potential growth of my investment using this practical calculator.)

Don’t assume you need to set aside a sizable amount because it isn’t about how much you save each month. The length of time you allow your money to accumulate, or compound, is more significant.

Now that we are aware of the benefits of early saving, let’s look at some advice for tackling your retirement plan.

Determine the amount you can safely save.

The 50/30/20 guideline, which states that 50% of your monthly income should go toward necessities like rent, food, utilities, and other obligations, is advised by many financial gurus. Then you spend 30% of your salary on enjoyable activities. Finally, 20% is allocated to long-term financial objectives like opening a savings account, saving for retirement, or paying off debt.

But this ratio is only a starting point. If you’d prefer a more individualized method, you can calculate your own savings rate using some basic math. Keep a record of your monthly earnings and outgoings. Your potential monthly savings are however much is left over. From that pool, you should set aside three to six months’ worth of emergency expenses in an account that is simple to access, and any remaining funds should go toward your long-term saving objectives.

Contribute on a regular basis to your IRA and 401k funds.

You should make as much of a contribution as you can to a 401(k) retirement plan if your company matches your contributions. Try to get your employer’s match as a minimum. Try to add even more if you’re just starting out at your first job and if your living expenses permit it. If your 401(k) is at its maximum, think about funding an IRA (Individual Retirement Account). You have more flexibility over your investing choices because these are not connected to your employer’s plan.

Consider your risk and diversify your investments.

Your retirement plan is one area where the adage “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” is undoubtedly true. Index funds and ETFs are better options for diversification than individual stocks. These are a group of stocks, allowing you to access a variety of assets for little money. You can search Cashay for further articles that go in-depth on investing and saving.

Just keep in mind that you must start, no matter how you choose to approach retirement. The worst action to take is to take none at all. Be consistent and begin small. Your future self will appreciate it.

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