A Life Lesson from my German Teacher
My high school German teacher hated it when people were late to class. But, there always seemed to be one smart-aleck student who would come in late anyway, announcing “better late than never”.
“But better never late”, my teacher would reply.
That same idea can be applied to funding retirement.
It depends on where you’re at
If you’re well into your career, but haven’t yet started funding retirement, it’s better late than never.
If you’re just entering the workforce, it’s better never late.
That’s because it’s so much easier to fund your retirement when you start as soon as you get your first job. It’ll cost you less, you’ll never miss the money, and you’ll have more at the end.
You end up way better off. It’s that simple.
Never too late
If you haven’t started funding retirement yet, start ASAP, no matter what your age. If you’ve funded it sporadically off and on throughout the years (like I did), see what you need to do to get back on track, and start now with something.
You can always increase it little bit at a time as you go (using the ice cream method) if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the amount you may need to save.
I ended up sending 30% of my income to retirement accounts as soon as I woke up and realized how awfully behind I was. (I was way, WAY behind.)
It seemed overwhelming, but on the plus side I already knew that I could live on less than my income. And in theory I won’t need anywhere near the recommended 70% to 90% of my income in retirement. (Good thing.) Now, I’m in much better shape. But that wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t taken action after that wake-up call.
The point is to not give up. Any amount you can set aside toward retirement (and then NOT TOUCH until you actually retire) will help.
So start now, and then make it a priority to keep going until you reach your goal.