A recent survey from Vanguard showed the median account balance for Americans 65 and older was just $87,700. The median amount saved by Americans aged 55 to 64 was just $89,700. The average for both age groups was much higher at $256 thousand for 55 to 64-year-olds and $280 thousand for those 65 and older.
However, these numbers are very concerning, considering these individuals are either in retirement or near retirement age and don't have enough saved up to retire.
The reality is that while the amount of money those in their 50s, 60s, and older have saved for retirement is not likely enough to give them the retirement that many of us dream about, there is not much we can do to help them at this point.
Many of the greatest investors of our time have all used the power of compounding returns to grow their vast fortunes. Warren Buffet, one of the wealthiest individuals in the world, while an outstanding investor in his own right, acquired the vast majority of his wealth late in life because of the power of compounding returns, not extraordinary investment picks.
Unfortunately, those in their 50s or older just don't have as much time on their side as is required to realize the power of compounding investment returns.
While the younger generations have more time and opportunities to grow their investment wealth, the issue is that many young people don't understand the importance of investing when young. A recent report from Morning Consult showed that half of Americans aged 18 to 34 were not yet saving for retirement, and only 39% of those who were, started in their 20s.
We often hear the same old lines from those who now wish they had saved or even just started investing earlier in life. "I was never told/taught about investing." "No one explained why investing young was crucial to growing a large investment account." "I just didn't have enough money to save when I was young/younger." There are obviously more excuses, but in my experience, these are the top three.
If you are reading this article, you care about your investments. Therefore, you either had someone explain to you the importance of investing, or you taught yourself after realizing why investing was so important. Continue reading "The Most Important Step When Saving for Retirement"