Your retirement: How much money is at risk if you delay saving?

While most Americans know they should be saving for retirement, many aren’t – or aren’t saving enough.

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According to the most recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), nearly 30 percent of people over the age of 55 have no retirement savings and no pension plan. Meanwhile the personal savings rate has declined from 14.2 percent in 1975 to 6.8 percent in 2018.

Insufficient savings, combined with low wage growth – which the GAO says remains near 1970 levels – rising health care costs and longer life expectancies are combining to create trouble for many American workers hoping for a full retirement.

That’s why many experts insist it is never too early to start saving.

GOBankingRates examined how much money is potentially at risk if workers delay contributing to their company’s 401(k) plan, based on the median income, average 401(k) contributions, a 6.5 percent return and 2 percent inflation.

In a 401(k), even small amounts of money can have a meaningful impact over time, with the help of compounding interest.

Here’s a look at the findings, without taking an employer match into consideration:

A worker that starts saving at 25 will have $810,744 in his 401(k) by 65, of which only $215,876 will be his own contributions.

A worker that starts saving at 30 will be down $249,836 compared to the 25-year old, with $560,908 in his account by the age of 65.

A worker that starts saving at 40 would lose out on $557,618, with $253,126 saved.

A worker that starts saving at 50 would lose $713,375, and have $97,369 in his bank account by the age of 65.

A worker that starts contributing at 60 would miss out on $789,618, with just $21,126 by the age of 65.

When an employer match of 3 percent is factored in, a person that begins saving at 25 would have more than $1 million in his bank account by 65.

While not every worker is offered the chance to contribute to a 401(k) plan, legislation advancing through Congress aims to encourage businesses to automatically enroll workers in retirement plans and make it easier for companies to join together to offer 401(k)s.


As previously reported by FOX Business, many workers will have to rethink how they plan to live their later-in-life years.

Many, for example, will need to continue working across a lifespan.