The power of time
The sooner you begin saving, the better your chance of reaching your goals.
Why is time of the essence? The sooner you begin saving toward a goal—whether it’s helping to pay for a child’s or grandchild’s education, having enough to retire comfortably, making a large purchase, or doing something else—the better your chance of reaching it. And, this can be even more powerful if you invest in a tax-advantaged account like an IRA or qualified employer sponsored retirement plan (QRP) such as a 401(k), 403(b) or governmental 457(b). Consider this example that shows how starting sooner rather than later can help your money work harder for you:
Let’s assume Investor A invested $1,000 per year for 10 years beginning at age 30 and reinvested any potential earning (interest, dividends) back into his account. Investor B also invested the same amount per year, earned an identical rate of return, and reinvested her returns; however, she waited until age 45 to start with the strategy and continued with it for twice as long (20 years). Assuming a hypothetical 6% annual return, here’s a comparison of the two scenarios:
|Investor A||Investor B|
|Hypothetical annual return||6%||6%|
|Account value at age 65||$59,964||$38,993|
Even though Investor A saved half as much as Investor B, Investor A had more money at the time of retirement, all because of starting earlier and the power of compounding interest. The extra years of compounding boosted his bottom line. Investor B will now have to save more if she wants to catch up. This is the potential cost of waiting, a cost that quickly adds up. It doesn’t matter what age you are—you’ll have more time on your side if you start saving today.
- Work with your financial advisor to determine your goals and start saving as soon as possible
- Remember to reinvest your returns back into your account so you can receive earnings both on them and the amount you invest
- Consider using tax-advantaged accounts for education (Coverdell Education Savings Accounts and 529 plan accounts) and retirement saving [Traditional and Roth IRAs and employer-sponsored qualified retirement plans (QRPs) such as 401(k), 403(b) and governmental 457 (b) ], which can enhance the power of tax-deferred compounding
Wells Fargo Advisors does not provide tax or legal advice.