If you haven't started saving, begin now. If you wait until you feel more financially comfortable before you invest for retirement, you may never begin. Even if you can put away only a small amount, such as $50 per month, you'll have made a start.
Set up your accounts to automatically move a set amount each month into your IRA. As the above examples show, the best way to build substantial savings is to start early, but even if you're in your 30s or 40s, you can catch up — although you'll need to save more to potentially get to the same level.
Increase your investments when your income rises. Every time you get a salary increase, boost your contributions to your IRA and your 401(k) or other employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Don't take a "time-out" from investing. Keep on investing, whether the "news of the day" is positive or negative. The best investors are those who follow a consistent strategy and continue investing, year in and year out.
In short, save early, save often — and keep investing.
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Edward Jones Financial Adviser Michael Quinn submitted this column. Quinn's Edward Jones office is at 25 Railroad Square, Suite 201, Haverhill. He can be reached at 978-372-8453.