If you're in your 20s or 30s, your money still has decades to grow. "The younger you are, the more time you have to make up for lost time," Murphy says.
But, while it's advantageous to start early, if you're in your mid-30s and only have a paltry amount put away, don't panic. At this point, "the best thing you can do is to set a goal," Murphy says. "It may not be, 'I'll have three times my income by the time I'm 40,' but maybe it's 'I'm going to do what I need to do to have twice my income.' Sometimes that is a matter of making a few changes to how you spend your paycheck."
If you aren't sure the best way to catch up, don't be afraid to ask an expert. "There is a wealth of knowledge available through employers, through financial experts, checklists, and simple ways to help people start thinking about it," Murphy says.
Saving, and saving for the future especially, can feel like making a dentist appointment: "It's something people don't want to think about, so they tend to put it off," Murphy explains. "But the longer you put it off, the harder it's going to be. So start early and ask lots of questions."
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