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Starting age for investing

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  • Starting age for investing

    With all the recent talk of people's milestones, and a recent co-worker retiring at age 67, it made me think about at what age did you all start focusing on investing and saving long term? I mentioned in Singuy's recent post I really didn't start funding my 401K till 28, and then Roths until early 30s. With the last two years paying more attention to the market and index funds, fees, etc.

    "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

  • #2
    I've always been a saver, but I really did get serious about investing until my mid to late 20's.


    • #3
      I really didn't start having much of an income until I was 29 and done school. We opened our first mutual fund account soon after we got married. I was 28 and DW was 29 and we put in $50/month initially. DW was in some sort of plan at work. I don't remember what. And I had some type of pension thing at my residency hospital but it wasn't something I contributed to. I wasn't going to be there long enough to be vested though as it turned out, the hospital got sold and part of the agreement was that everyone got automatically vested so I got a lump sum from that and rolled it over into an IRA.

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.


      • #4
        I started my Roth IRA in my junior year of college (2006, 20 y/o), and have been saving/investing what I can since then. My wife didn't really start much investing until ~27 y/o, but since we met/married, we've saved/invested a large portion of our combined incomes. It's worked out very well for us, and we currently have about $450k in retirement, plus about the same about split between real estate equity, cash, and other investments (529s, UTMA, generic taxable investments). Success with investments really is mostly about time in the market. The earlier you start, the better you'll do.
        Last edited by kork13; 03-25-2019, 07:57 PM.
        "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"


        • #5
          I'm pretty sure I started at age 22, when I had my first job out of college that had a 401k. My husband started at 20.
          My other blog is Your Organized Friend.


          • #6
            Age 22 for me. But, to be honest I wasn't willing to take on a lot of risk when I first got started and that also really limits growth. Over time I became a little more comfortable with risk because I realized that inflation will eat your lunch, too.


            • #7
              23. First post college job/401k. I had the job before I turned 23 but wasn't eligible for 401k before that and we were buying a home (all our cash was going to down payment in crazy high cost region). We have invested consistently (no breaks) 10% - 15% of our income. Probably did not learn more about investing, lower expense ratios/costs, etc. until around age 30.

              There is no doubt that starting early made our lives much easier for the long haul. In our mid-30s, average returns started outpacing our contributions. Around the same time, we could have stopped contributing and our investments would still grow to a comfortable retirement. I am personally kind of fascinated by this because we got sidetracked by dropping our income in 1/2 to have kids, insane healthcare costs, sky high unemployment, etc. Investing has never been more than 15% of our income (annual average). We are very financially conservative but felt this was more back burner while we dealt with bigger issues. So I am stunned to look back and realize all the *hard work* is already behind us on the investing front. I share this often in the case it motivates a young 20-something. I guess the "financially conservative" part was always contributing at least a minimum percentage (10%) to investments. No exceptions. That has more than paid off.