As you can see, starting early is incredibly advantageous. And it's all thanks to one simple principle: 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. It causes your wealth to snowball over time and means that you don't have to save as much to reach your money goals.
Here's another compound interest chart, which The New York Times columnist and author Ron Lieber says changed his life.
Published in 1994 by USAA, it 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
In short, the longer you wait to start saving and investing, the more you'll miss out on compound interest.
Ready 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, or other retirement savings accounts, such as a Roth IRA or traditional IRA.
You can also research low-cost index funds, which Warren Buffett recommends, and online investment platforms known as robo-advisers.
To help you save more and spend less, check out:
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