TIMING IS EVERYTHING
The sooner you start saving for retirement, the faster your account will grow. Conversely, the longer you wait to get started, the harder it will be to catch up. Some experts say that for every five years you delay getting started, you may need to double the amount you must save each month to reach the same level of income at retirement.
Here’s a hypothetical example: Say you contributed $5,000 a year to an RRSP for 10 years – assume that your investment earned 8 percent a year and all investment earnings were reinvested in your account. Depending on how old you were when you made those contributions, you would see wildly different amounts at age 65 when you retire:
- If you started saving at age 25, stopping at age 35, when you retire at 65 your account would be worth about $760,080.07
- If you started saving at age 35, stopping at age 45, it would be worth about $352,064
- If you started at age 45 and stopped at age 55, its value would be only about $163,073
- If you waited to start saving until age 55 and contributed until age 65, you’d only amass about $75,534.73
These examples assume that you only invest $5,000 a year for 10 years and then stop. If you were to contribute that amount consistently from ages 25 to 65, you would amass more than $1.35 million during those 40 years.