Start early for retirement savings!

Last week, as part of the group writing project for the M-Network, I listed my worst financial mistakes.  Almost as an afterthought, I added “Not saving for retirement in my 20s” at the bottom of that loooong list of bad financial decisions.  Apparently that should have been more than just an afterthought, according to a Yahoo! Finance article from yesterday that describes the me-from-a-decade-ago just too well.

“It’s tough to start talking too many numbers with young people because a lot of times they’re also overwhelmed — it’s their first job, their first real paycheck, their first apartment, their first time dealing with health insurance,” says Derek Avdul, financial consultant and author of “Real Life 101: The Workbook.”

“When you have all these variables going on and they’re trying to be grown-ups, retirement just takes a back burner for a lot of them.”

Um, yeah, that was definitely me! My biggest thing when I was 20 was being pregnant with my son.  Then there was the divorce that started just before my 25th birthday.  The whole time, I had not put ANY money away for retirement.  I’m starting to feel pretty nervous about that now that I have lived past 30 years of age…

For those of y’all who are still in your 20s, PLEASE take heed: START SAVING FOR RETIREMENT!  Really!  I have done some research, and you can start a Roth IRA for $250 and an auto-draft of $50 a month.  I just did that myself in August, so I am up to a whopping $350 in my retirement account now.  I really wish I had done that back when I was 19 or 20.  I think you don’t even need the monthly auto-draft to start up a Roth or even traditional IRA.  Set it up, even if it’s tiny like mine.  If you start when you’re young, you won’t get that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach like I have when you wake up one morning and realize you are in your 30s.  Please, do it for me, if you don’t think you can do it for yourself.