Money Smart Week: It’s Never Too Early (or Too Late) to Save for Retirement

Judy Hucka, editor of the BetterInvesting Puget Sound Chapter Newsletter is our guest blogger today. BetterInvesting is a non-profit organization dedicated to investment education. On April 29 they will be hosting a program on Basic Investing at Central Library. The Newsletter is available for viewing at the Level 7 Business, Science and Technology desk also at Central Library.

If you’re in your 20s or 30s, retirement may seem like a long way off. And you may already feel financially stretched, paying off student loans, saving to buy a house, or starting a family.

But saving and investing even small amounts of money now can give you a much better chance of being able to retire comfortably in your 60s (maybe even earlier). Something as simple as cutting out that daily latte or packing your lunch rather than eating out every day can add up surprisingly fast.

Here’s an example of what saving and investing when you’re young can do. Let’s say you estimate you’ll need $1 million at age 65 to be able retire. Assuming you can earn a 10 percent rate of return by investing your savings:

  • If you start at age 25, you would need to save and invest only $158 a month.
  • If you wait until age 35 to start saving and investing, you’d need $442 a month.
  • If you wait until 45, you’d need $1,317 a month.
  • If you wait until 55, you’d need nearly $5,000 a month.

In this day and age, you’re on your own when it comes to ensuring financial security in retirement. Very few companies offer guaranteed pensions, but many allow you to save your money with a 401(k) plan (and some even contribute money to your savings plan). Social Security may be there to help, but for most people it will not provide enough money to live comfortably.

As part of national Money Smart Week, the Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Puget Sound Chapter of BetterInvesting to offer a free class:

Investing for Financial Independence: Steps to a great (and maybe early) retirement.

Saturday, April 29, 2-3:30 p.m., Seattle Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave., Seattle. WA 98104

Instructor Gary Ball will discuss different ways to invest during your working years. He’ll show you how to set up an investment plan that you can use throughout the different stages of your life – 20-40, 40-50, and after 50. This plan will let you retain most of the investment returns and not pay a broker or financial advisor.

Money Smart Week®, April 22-29, 2017, is a public awareness campaign designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Organizations across the country, including many public libraries, are offering free programs to people of all ages and  income levels on all facets of personal finance. For more information about events, visit


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