**compound interest calculator**, such as the one found here:

http://www.moneychimp.com/calculator/compound_interest_calculator.htm

Let's do a sample calculation with the following assumptions:

- Start with a $0 balance today
- Contribution of $1,000 per month
- Average annual growth of 8%
- Compounding for 30 years

According to the compound interest calculator, this yields a future value of

**$1,468,150.42**.

This number should surely grab your attention. If this doesn't motivate you to start taking retirement investing seriously, I don't know what will! Investing only $1,000 per month can make you a millionaire.

Now let's say you wait 5 years to begin investing, and you invest for only 25 years instead of 30 years. This yields a future value of only

**$947,452.98**.
This is a dramatic difference. Waiting five years to begin investing can cost you

**half a million dollars**in your future retirement. So, young people reading this: start investing now, right now, today! You will thank yourself later.
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