Note: This infographic is interactive. You can mouse over some of the elements to explore further.
I wrote this infographic because I wanted to lay out some of the more shocking retirement statistics in black and white. We don’t communicate the importance of saving to workers, young and old, nearly as well as we manage to encourage them to be good consumers.
If you are a woman, you are hit with a double whammy of earning and saving less. Researching this infographic made me think of my own young sisters, and made me very frustrated on their behalf. They are already more financially literate than I was at their age, but the uphill battle they have ahead of them when it comes to wage and retirement equality worries me.
The good news for them, and for all of us, is that our potential for improvement is so huge. Most Americans report that they could contribute at least $25 per week more to their retirement if they set their minds to it. If this is you, and you’re not currently contributing anything, start today. Then, over time, increase that number by an amount that causes you a little discomfort, but doesn’t prevent you from feeding yourself or your family. Look for places to save. Look for side hustles to increase your income. Don’t turn down free money in the form of employer matching. Invest in low-cost, passive investments. In other words, do as much as you can from the How To Retire Early Infographic. Don’t worry that I encourage you to save 50%– do what you can, and follow the rest of the advice.
If you haven’t already, sign up to track your investments and expenses on a free site like Personal Capital (I may or may not get a referral fee from the site if you sign up, but don’t let that stop you– I use their free service myself to track all of this and love it). Their report tools are the best in the business at helping you visualize the impact of changing your contributions. Retirement may already be within your grasp, or you may need to make changes– but the first step is learning where you stand.