Retirement...having enough money to live well without ever having to work again. It sounds like a dream for many, but it's doable if you make a realistic plan and stick to it. You'll need to pay off your debts, save money, and make smart investments. If you do, you'll create the path to your retirement dreams.
You really don't need to make a fortune in order to save enough for retirement. Due to the affects of compound interest and a diversified portfolio of investments, putting just 15% of your income towards retirement will provide a substantial sum in 20 or 30 years. Your first step should be paying off any bad debt you might have. If you do have bad debt, our sections on credit cards and debt management will help. Second, you should reduce your risk of losing money due to medical emergencies or natural disasters through quality insurance. Then, you'll be ready to begin saving and investing, building your fortune for retirement.
Retirement CalculatorsRetirement Calculator
Our retirement calculator above will give you much more detailed information based on your current financial situation. But let's take a look at the affect of a periodic (monthly) contribution using our Compound Interest Calculator. We'll assume you're able to put aside $400/month for 30 years, with an average annual interest rate of 10%. (Over the last 30 years the S&P 500 has had a 12% average return, so 10% is a good benchmark to use.)
Monthly Deposit: $400
Rate of Return: 10%
Total Deposits: $145,600
Return/Interest Earned: $693,151
Future Value: $838,751
Here you can see the tremendous value of putting money aside for investments every month. If you only put in $145,600, you can end up with $838,751 over 30 years. You'll multiply your money almost 6 times. The earlier you start and the more money you're able to put aside, the greater the affect will be. Use our free calculators and advice, and get on the path to your retirement today.
What You Should Know7 Steps to a Carefree Retirement
Smart Retirement Investing
Top 5 Retirement Myths
For more on investing for retirement, see our section on investing.