I want to open a 401(k) account, so I can start planning for retirement in 5 years
One of my favorite motivational speakers is Les Brown. I have listened to a number of his speeches for years, sometimes the same one twice a day, whether in the car or at the gym. He shares that success is like a Bamboo Tree. “This type of tree is quite unique in that one will not see it grow for about 5 years after the seed is planted. After a daily routine of watering it the tree will break through the ground and grow about 90 feet tall in a matter of weeks. The question is how long did it take for this tree to grow?”
Long term saving and investing is like watching a plant grow. One needs to plant the seed and begin watering it right away. If one misses a day or two it may make a difference in how much, or if, the plant grows. Similarly, when it comes to saving for retirement, we shouldn’t start saving a few years before we plan to retire, we need to start planning and saving many years earlier.
Our version of “watering a plant” is saving money in your retirement account(s), whether it be an employer-sponsored 401(k), a Roth IRA, or any sort of savings vehicle earmarked for retirement. The earlier one starts saving, and the more one consistently saves, the greater the chance of seeing growth in your account.
Do I invest?
Typically, in long term saving and investing, one is “taking advantage of time”. Even a small amount saved every month will make a big difference later as interest grows over time. And when you take into consideration the power of compound interest, the results can be even greater. When you start saving early, depositing small incremental amounts of money over a long period of time, you may be surprised how quickly this can add up.
Similarly, as history has demonstrated, the market rises and the market falls. Although investing involves risk and there is always the potential of losing money, including the money you invest, starting early can give you time to recover from fluctuations in the market. It also helps you build a foundation for the way in which you live your life.
We can’t control the events of the world that frequently affect the market – political or economic – but we can control our actions and are our emotions, and the discipline of the saving and spending choices we make. Saving and investing early can help ingrain a saving habit and behavior for life.
Even if you’re only a few years away from retirement, it’s not too late to start saving. No matter what age or stage you start building your wealth, you’ll need an understanding of your risk tolerance, a long-term strategy and a commitment to seeing it through. A financial professional can work with you to help you develop and implement a strategy to meet your specific goals.
Registered representative of and securities offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc. (HTK), Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC, 600 Dresher Road, Horsham, PA 19044, (215) 957-7300. HTK does not accept time-sensitive or action-oriented messages delivered via e-mail, including authorization to “buy” or “sell” a security or instructions to conduct any other financial transaction. 2359009PH_Feb21