Are you 25 years old? Want to have $100,000 towards retirement at 65? Invest $51 a month, starting now. Over 40 years, you would be "depriving" yourself of just under $25,000. That's about $1.68 a day. Far less than a daily Starbuck's coffee, or about 2.5 pizzas per month for the java junkies out there. Your money will quadruple.
Wait until you're 35 years old, and you'd have to invest $100 a month ($36,000 total) instead to wind up with the same $100,000. Your money will only triple.
The first link gives you an overview of plans you want to start making now, including retirement.
The second link has a quick and easy visual + written explanation of how compound interest works.
The third link is where I got the screen-shot below. I assumed your average return over 40 years in a well-balanced portfolio will be 6%... a conservative assumption. (Some years it will be more--others, perhaps less.)
Bear in mind, too, that inflation will likely eat up about half the value of your money. You'll need to spend more on healthcare; taxes are likely to go up; and so on. Further, as your earnings go up, your retirement savings should, too. But still--it's a pretty eye-opening number.
Thanks and a tip o' the Twitter hat to @thesimpledollar!
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