nursienurse: Sign up as soon as possible if you work for a company that actually has a retirement program. You can choose how much to save and can save more later when you are making more.
If you have to save on your own, take a percentage and put it in a Ross IRA or find a retirement plan that you can contribute to.
Do automatic withdrawal from your pay check so you don't continually put off saving until the next paycheck.
As soon as you have a started building your net worth. Retirement savings is important but you also need to have a foot hold on a net worth. Education, getting out of debt, down payment on a house and emergency fund need started too. If you do retirement first you will be tempted to use the money for something else. So if it takes until you are 25-30 to get your house in order before doing much about retirement you can start late. By then you have already done some major things like paying off student loans and saving for a house and can now do a high percentage for retirement knowing you have other money for emergencies.
No later than year 20 or earlier if possible.
Let me give you an example of costs.
(These are UK but can easily be adapted for USA and etc)
When I started my working life at age 15 in 1957 – a newspaper cost two pence. That same newspaper now costs in the region of £1 to £1.50
A cup of coffee back then cost about two shillings (20 in the old English pound) – that same cup of coffee now costs £3 to £4.50 on average.
In other words, what we pay for things now, will be multiplied many times over during the 40 to 50 years or so during which we save for our retirement.
One of the best ways to save for retirement (if you don't have a pension fund) is to buy a house and then another house (if possible) – use the second house to rent out – making you an income which will grow over the years.
My partner and me own a house which is now valued at about £850,000 – we purchased it for £116,000 some 22 years ago – this gives you some idea of house price rises over the years. When the house was built in 1937 it could be purchased for £500 – yes, five hundred pounds.
We also have about £3,000 per month income between us – which is good enough since we do not have big spending habits – we also have £100,000 in savings with the British Treasury in the form of Income Bonds.
In other words, you've got to save, save, save and work for your retirement. And do not imagine for a single moment that retirement means sitting gazing out of the window all day long. On the contrary it means being able to do much more than you ever could before because you are 'free'.
have a great life
Once you're born basically. That's why a lot of parents or grandparents will set up funds for their kids grandkids whatever. It's hard to save a lot of money and it takes a long time. Get a 401k if your job offers it, and put money into it from every paycheck, even if it's ten dollars, your work will match you so you will get 20 dollars. Also, hit the stock market. Start playing around with penny stocks that don't mean anything, and pay close attention to the big stocks that will make you a lot of money. Other than that, just work hard, always try to put in 40 hours a week, and if you can do overtime to put money in the bank.
Well, if they cut out Medicare, and Medicaid, and gut Social Security, there will be no retirement for anyone so get used to working until you die or are too sick to continue to work and will just die. Up until now, you could start saving as soon as your life became stable, you had a job that enabled you to have a little extra money each paycheck if you live a normal, frugal life (no designer coffees, no ready made meals all the time, no new clothes and shoes whenever you want them, possibly an economy car). Up until now, I thought I'd have enough saved to see me through but if they take away Medicare and Social Security, simple medical care (and so far, I'm still healthy but the incidence of disease, accidents, general physical diminishment increases as you get older) is going to eat up my savings very fast.