Sometimes the simplest things can have the biggest impact.
The chart shows how much money you'll accumulate over time if you invest $250 a month starting at different ages. It assumes an eight percent average annual investment return.
If you start at age:
25: You'll accumulate $878,570 by age 65
35: You'll accumulate $375,073 by age 65
45: You'll accumulate $148,236 by age 65
As the numbers show, starting early is advantageous, thanks to a phenomenon known as compound interest. Compounding makes a sum grow at a faster rate than simple interest, because in addition to earning returns on the money you invest, you also earn returns on those returns over time.
Inspired to put your money to work? The simplest starting point is to invest in your employer's 401(k) plan, a tax-advantaged retirement savings account. Next, consider alternate retirement savings accounts, such as a Roth IRA, traditional IRA and/or a health savings account.
And remember, when you start saving outweighs how much you save.