Sure, most people don't gush about how much fun saving is. But doing what you want to—when you want to—is another story. And retirement may give you that freedom. After working hard for years, who doesn't want to enjoy doing the things you couldn’t do when you were working. That’s why it's important to have a saving-for-retirement plan now—even if retirement is years and years away. Want some inspiration? Here's how some Fidelity customers are doing it.
Started saving at his first job
“My mom, nagged and nagged me about contributing 15% to my 401(k) the moment I could,” says Alec Woodworth, 22, a recent college graduate, who just started his first job at a financial information company in New York City. “So I contribute 10%, and my company matches 5%.” He also is tilting towards a diversified mix of stocks in his 401(k), knowing that he has a long time before he needs the money. He is also comfortable with the ups and downs of the stock market.
Built a business and saved too
“I was 28 when I turned a part-time design business into my full-time career,” says Mike Mikkelson, now 55. “My accountant was preparing my taxes and wanted to know how much I'd contributed to a retirement plan. My long pause caused him to warn me that retirement planning was completely my responsibility now.” Mikkelson opened a SEP IRA plan and kept making monthly contributions. Children came, then college bills, and now almost three decades later, he is confident he can look forward to a comfortable retirement including going bike riding when it's sunny, and skiing when it snows.
It is never too late
Rachel Chambers and her husband, Ernie, didn’t start saving for retirement until they were in their forties for reasons that may sound familiar—she was a stay-at-home mother, they had four kids, and they didn’t have the extra money. But then they started saving furiously to make up for lost time because they feared they wouldn't have enough money to retire when they wanted to. “It's never too late!" says Rachel. Maybe we won’t be able to save as much as we’d like. Maybe we’ll have to work a little longer than we thought. Never give up.” Now she is teaching her children and daughter-in-law to start saving early.