When visualising your future, you probably see a lifetime of professional and personal accomplishments during your working years, punctuated by a brief, gold-tinged period of retirement.
According to Tim Urban from Wait But Why, you’re way off.
On his site, a self-described “procrastination website,” he illustrates the typical American lifespan broken up by years, months, and weeks. Check it out:
You might notice something interesting (besides the gap between becoming a legal adult and being legally allowed to drink alcohol): Retirement takes up a lot of space.
A quick glance shows that after your working years, retirement is the stage of your life in which you spend the most time — and a painstaking counting of weeks/squares reveals that the typical American spends more time retired than he does in his entire childhood, grade school, and college combined.
Why are we telling you this? Because we can’t say too often — or too vehemently — that retirement savings should be a key financial priority for just about everyone. In fact, some experts estimate that $1 million might not be enough to sustain you during post-work years.
The best thing we can do to avoid years of financial angst is to start saving today: Check out this chart that shows the difference between someone who starts saving at 25 and someone who starts at 35.
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