More than 25 percent of all Americans have no savings at all, let alone a retirement nest egg.
But each year that you wait to start saving for retirement could mean thousands — even hundreds of thousands — of dollars in savings when you eventually need it.
In one scenario by Dara Luber, a retirement and long-term investing expert at TD Ameritrade, the total cost of delaying saving for retirement by 20 years is nearly $100,000.
Luber factored in investing $100 a month for 20 years starting at age 21 and assumed a 5 percent annual return. Compounded monthly until age 67, that's just over $150,000. Starting just five years later at age 26, alternatively, came out to slightly more than $117,000 at retirement age, or $33,000 less. The cost of waiting 20 years nets only $55,000 — a difference of $95,000.