How can I convince my adult child to save?

Ask NJMoneyHelp


Q. My son is graduating early from college and he already has a job lined up for January. He doesn’t think he will earn enough to start retirement savings. I disagree. How can I convince him?
— Mom

A. Congrats to your son.

And also congrats to you for knowing how important it is to start saving early.

Sometimes the best way to convince your children to start saving is to just show them the numbers, said Marnie Hards, a certified financial planner with Aznar Financial Advisors in Morris Plains..

She offered these examples.

If you save $250 per month at an assumed 8 percent average annual return, you will accumulate $878,570 by age 65 if you start at age 25. If you start at age 35, you’ll only have $375,073, and if you start at 45, you’ll have a mere $148,236.

Then compare these two scenarios, which assume a 6 percent rate of return.

If you save $150,000 from age 25 to age 40, at age 65, you will have $1,058,912. If you save $300,000 from age 35 to age 60, you’ll have only $838,019 at age 65.

Or consider this: If you want to have $1 million by age 55, you’d need to save $475 per month if you start at age 25. If you start at age 30, you’d have to save $775 per month. If you want until age 35, you’d have to save $1,325 monthly.

Hards said if your son is going to work for a company that offers an employer match on 401(k) contributions, he would be giving up free money by not contributing, so this may be another helpful talking point.

“If he sets up a small weekly or monthly transfer into a savings or investment account that happens automatically, he will live on what is left and probably not even notice it,” she said. “Over time, the hope is that he increases these monthly transfers as his income increases.”

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