Retirement Planning for Beginners

Setting money aside for my retirement has always been my number one financial priority. Before saving up for a house, before paying off my credit cards, before buying cute clothes, I have saved for retirement first. Why? Because I don’t like working.


In fact, I hate working so much that I have worked extra hard for many years to advance and get raises so that I can stop working sooner than the standard 62 years old. I’ve always been a eat-my-vegetables-first kind of girl to get it out of the way and get on to the good stuff. Retirement is the same way: get all the work done while I am young so that I can get to retirement as quickly as I can.

Also, I’m lazy. I need to get to no-forced-work before my laziness overtakes my effectiveness.


So here’s why and when to start savings for retirement:

Why save for retirement?

So that you can retire. Duh.


No, seriously, no one else is going to do it for you. You’ll probably get social security, but how much heavy lifting do you want that word “probably” to do for you? And in the likelihood that you do get social security in retirement, you might not like the amount. Today’s retirees receive an average of $1360 per month. Not bad. Also – not enough. Sorry, bud, but $1360 ain’t paying for your healthcare, your property taxes, house and car insurance, groceries, electricity, gas, and an occasional car trip. And if that is enough for you, then God bless.

When should you start savings for retirement?

Now. Right this very minute. I don’t care how old you are, do it now. I’m looking at you, 45-year-old; I’m looking at you, 20-year-old; and, yes, I’m even looking at you, 16-year-old.

The younger you start saving for retirement, the sooner you can stop working.

I’m not kidding. LOOK AT THIS chart.

compound interest


From David Ramsey:

compound interest3

compound interest2

I mean….


I look at it this way: a portion of every paycheck you earn does not belong to you. You are not entitled to all of it. You’re not. You are legally obligated to give a portion of your work rewards (money) to your community and country via taxes whether you like it or not. Why not look at your future self the same way? Dedicate a portion of your work performed now to your future self… as money you are not entitled to right now. This should be a lifelong attitude, and it should start with your very first job.

And for all the mommies & daddies out there: you know what’s more fun than crappy plastic toy birthday presents? A $500 per year contribution to your kiddo’s Roth IRA. If you did that for just 18 years, assuming a pessimistic 5% growth would give junior $136,681 when she is 62…all for just $9,000 of your money.


My next post will detail the basic types of retirement plans and how much you should save. But for now, if you haven’t already started saving, do it and do it now!

Love, jessie ♥