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3 Things Young People Should Know About Retirement

Retirement seems a long time off — particularly when you’re young.  However, Millennials are living longer, and many will have retirements that are longer than their working careers. Here are three things to keep in mind now.

1. You won’t be able to work as long as you think

You hear people talk about 65 as the “normal” retirement age, even though it’s no longer that, even for Social Security benefits. Oddly, considering all the talk you hear about people retiring later, the average age at which U.S. retirees retire today is 62.

Meanwhile, the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute has consistently found that a large percentage of retirees leave the workforce earlier than planned — 49 percent of them in 2014, for example. Many who retire earlier than they had planned often do so for negative reasons, such as a health problem or disability (61 percent).

So, if you’re thinking you don’t need to save for retirement now because you can just keep working, you might need a plan B.

2. You could be missing out on free money

It can be hard, particularly when you’re getting established, to prioritize all the demands on your paycheck. But if you do have a 401k or other retirement savings plan at work, you may also have something called an employer match. That’s where your employer will put into your account a certain amount, perhaps 50 cents for every dollar you save. For you, that’s free money, but you’ll only get it if you actually sign up for your employer’s retirement savings plan.

3. The sooner you start, the easier it will be

The Labor Department says that for every 10 years you delay, you will need to save three times as much each month to catch up on retirement savings. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be amazed at how quickly your savings grow; the money you save earns interest, then you’ll earn interest on the money you originally saved combined with the interest you’ve accumulated, and so on.  This is something financial pros call the “magic of compounding.” It does feel like magic. But it’s no trick.

These are just a few of ways you can start thinking ahead for your financial future so you’ll have security when you need it. Plan now. You’ll thank yourself later.

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