Thursday, February 01, 2007

Financial Planning 101: Yet another analyst reminds you to save now for retirement

Carrie Schwab Pomerantz, chief strategist for consumer education at Charles Schwab, offers the following reasons for saving for retirement starting with your first full-time job:

The tax benefits are great. Most grads will fall into the 25 percent tax bracket (roughly $30,000 to $60,000 in annual taxable income). If that's you and you make a $1,000 contribution to 401(k) account, you're only sacrificing $750 of take-home pay. And you won't pay taxes on the money you invest until you withdraw it 30 to 40 years from now.

Many employers offer ''free money.'' They'll match anywhere from 25 percent to 100 percent of your investment into a 401(k) account. That means you can turn each dollar you invest into up to $2. Never turn down free cash.

Time is on your side. Even if you invest a small amount now, it can become a substantial asset with the passage of 30 or 40 years. As Schwab puts it, ''The power of compounding puts a premium on starting young.''

So hop to it!

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