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We are all familiar with Aesop’s fable of the tortoise and the hare, in which the plodding tortoise challenges the bragging hare to a race and is mercilessly ridiculed until the over-confident hare takes a nap mid-race only to wake up and find that the tortoise has beaten him across the finish line. The moral of the fable is that slow and steady wins the race.
This particular message is one that is very pertinent for those saving for retirement, or indeed those who think they can afford to wait a while before they do. Many people fall into the trap of delaying putting away a part of their income towards a pension believing that in the future their earnings will be higher and it will be easier to save more. That is a flawed way of thinking in more ways than one.
Firstly, there is no guarantee that your income will rise significantly in the future, secondly, salary increases have a nasty habit of getting swallowed up by rising expenses such as a bigger mortgage and children and, perhaps most importantly of all, delaying saving means losing the enormous benefits of compounded growth over time.
These benefits are not to be underestimated. Just have a look at the two scenarios illustrated in the table below.
In the first scenario, our tortoise starts saving immediately and saves $24,000 per year for ten years. By contrast, the hare in the second scenario puts saving on hold for ten years but then races into action putting away $48,000 per year for ten years. In total our slowcoach tortoise has invested half as much as the speedy hare yet has achieved a final pension pot of almost the same amount.
The message really couldn’t be any clearer – the time to start saving for your retirement is now. Steady, regular payments into a pension fund will win you the race every time and ensure that your golden years are just that.
If you would like assistance with regular savings plans or any other financial planning advice get in touch today.
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