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Why save for retirement?

Consistent, dedicated saving might not be glamorous, but it will give you far more freedom and control over your lifestyle down the road.

Social Security shouldn't be your only retirement plan

Social Security was never meant to be anyone's sole source of retirement income.

In fact, a 30-year-old making $50,000 per year today—and who might realistically expect to make substantially more by the time he or she retires—can expect less than $22,000 per year from Social Security at age 67 (in today's dollars).

In the past, pensions often offered an additional source of income for retirees. But pension plans are becoming rare in today's world, and it's more important than ever to take advantage of the opportunity to save for your future.

Spending now could mean you'll pay for it later

Perhaps you'd rather spend your money on other things that are more fun than saving for retirement.

But because compounding can enhance the value of your savings, the "pain" of each dollar you save now can be greatly outweighed by the flexibility you gain later.

Of course, we're not suggesting you'd be better off squeezing the last drop of enjoyment from your life.

But we think that knowing you'll be all set to meet your basic needs later—with enough left over to let you comfortably do the things you look forward to in retirement—is worth going without a few treats now and then.

Control what you can

In the end, the future of Social Security isn't the only thing that's out of your hands. Tax rates will almost certainly change between now and your retirement date, and inflation will continue to increase prices over time. Other government programs, like Medicare, might also change.

But there's one thing that only you can completely control: how much you save. Start now and you might be surprised at how little you notice the sacrifice.

Learn more about retirement accounts at Vanguard

We offer several types of accounts you can use to save for retirement. Figure out which one is right for you.

Open a retirement account

We're here to help

Talk with one of our investment specialists.

Call 888-387-5539

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8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern time


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REFERENCE CONTENT

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Compounding

When earnings on invested money generate their own earnings. For example, if you invested $5,000 and earned 6% a year, in the first year you'd earn $300 ($5,000 x 0.06), in the second year you'd earn $318 ($5,300 x 0.06), in the third year you'd earn $337.08 ($5,618 x 0.06), and so on. Over longer periods of time, compounding becomes very powerful. In this example, you'd earn over $1,600 in the 30th year.