Time is of the essence when it comes to building a nest egg for retirement. You can clip coupons and fill the change jar forever, but if you're simply saving instead of investing for retirement, you're missing out:
- Invest any savings you have, beyond an emergency fund and savings for immediate major expenditures. Interest rates on savings accounts are so low that your savings won't keep up with inflation if your extra savings aren't otherwise invested. See more on how much to keep in an emergency fund here.
- Open an IRA at as young an age as possible. Starting young has significantly more impact than how much you're able to invest. If you earn an income, you can contribute to an IRA, so start as soon as you begin working (even if you aren't making full contributions) or encourage your children to do the same.
- Traditional IRAs aren't taxed upfront like Roth IRAs, which allows all of your invested funds to compound over time. This typically produces better gains in the long run, even though you're taxed on the full amount at retirement. Play around with Bankrate's IRA vs Roth IRA calculator to see for yourself.
- If your employer offers matching funds for investing in a group retirement plan, take full advantage of this. Matching funds = free money that will help your nest egg grow without costing you a thing.
What is your approach to growing a nest egg?