For many of us, retirement is one of the many lofty goals that we have in life. For most people this will mean working until 65 or later. But for some people, with a little bit of effort and a little bit of money smarts, you can retire early and still live an active, and fun filled life.
Retirement means something a little different for each of us. For some it is just a matter of survival in their later year. For others it is finding a way to spend times with their grandchildren, or travel the world. Having a larger nest egg can allow you to both retire earlier, and have a more flexible retirement. Instead of worrying about paying the bills, you can worry about where your next vacation will be.
One of the most important factors for preparing for retirement is starting early. For example, if you starting saving early and have 40 years until you retire and save $150 a month, you could end up with around $527,000 by the time you retire, assuming an 8% return, if you take the same approach but only have 30 years to save, you would only end up with about $225,000, or almost half as much. The most important thing is not how much you can save, but that you start early. As you get used to living on less money and as your salary increases you can continue to increase the amount you save. On top of saving early, the more you can save, the better off you will be.