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Retirement can mean different things to different people. While some dream of the quintessential retreat to a sunny locale to enjoy feet in the sand and drink in hand endlessly, others envision years spent pursuing a passion, volunteering, traveling, spending time with family, all without the constraints of needing a paycheck. Whatever the vision for retirement may be, one common thread is that it will need to be paid for

Saving for retirement is quite possibly the most important, and most enduring savings goal anyone can have. In order to afford a life beyond paid work that can extend 20 or even 30 years, it is critical to begin the work of saving early and to have a sense of just how much will be needed to fund a desired retirement lifestyle.

In the midst of all of the other financial pressure one faces earlier in life, it is key to begin saving for retirement as soon as one begins working. It doesn’t need to be a lot at once, in fact, the earlier the saving begins, and the easier it is to meet a long-term goal with modest contributions along the way. That’s the power of compounding interest!

What is important is to get started and contribute consistently. Since money has a way of disappearing in the pursuit of competing demands once it hits the bank account, it makes sense to direct savings for retirement to happen automatically, whether by diverting a set amount out of take home pay into a brokerage account or, even better, participating in a pre-tax savings strategy.

There are financial incentives to automating pre-tax retirement savings. In addition to the tax benefit (money directed to a retirement account such as a 401(k) or 403(b) can be subtracted from gross pay before taxes are deducted, thereby deferring tax obligation until later in life, when one is likely to be in a lower tax bracket), many employers offer a company match contributions, up to a certain amount or percentage of contribution. Neglecting to take advantage of this is truly walking away from free money.

Whether a person is able to start early or not, it is never too late to start. Define the target goal, consider the amount of time available to meet that goal, and determine how much is needed to save along the way, and start saving. Your future self will thank you!


    Securities offered through Sanctuary Securities, Member FINRA and SIPC. Advisory services offered through Sanctuary Advisors, LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor