For young adults, retirement may feel too far away to worry about yet, but putting off saving for retirement could make your golden years a lot more stressful.
A new survey of soon-to-be retirees by TIAA finds that more than half wish they had started saving earlier for retirement, making it their number one regret, and 46 percent say they wish they had saved more. Workers who start saving early for retirement can put away less money, since it has more time to grow via compound interest.
Having a solid nest egg is key to giving retirees the flexibility to do what they want, which 96 percent of workers age 58 to 65 surveyed said was the most important component in a successful retirement.
Younger workers should aim to put at least enough into retirement savings to get any employer match, but ultimately should be aiming to save at least 15 percent of income for retirement. If that’s not doable, save as much as you can now and bump up your savings rate every time you get a raise.
Older workers who are behind can catch up by maxing out tax-free retirement savings and planning to stay in the workforce longer to save more and delay taking Social Security. Many workers surveyed by TIAA are already planning to do so: 37 percent said that they now planned to retire earlier than they thought they would have 10 years ago.