When should I start thinking about retirement?
The simple answer is, "now". It makes sense that the sooner you start saving, the more your money you'll have. But just how much will shock you thanks to compounding interest. A 22-year-old with an annual salary of $40,000 who puts 10 percent into a 401(k) and gets a three percent employer-matching contribution could retire with approximately $1.7 million at age 65. And that's without any raises or increased contributions over forty years. If you wait until you turn 32 to begin saving, however, the same contributions will only amount to $780k. Ten years just cost you about a million dollars.