How much money you’ll have at retirement if you save $500 a month

Retirement can feel like it’s a lifetime away, especially if you’re in your 20s or 30s. With decades left until you’re able to leave your day job behind, it can be difficult to prioritize retirement savings over present day spending.

But it’s important to remember that the money going into your retirement accounts isn’t just sitting there until you turn 67 — it is growing continuously through compound interest, which earns returns not only on your initial investment, but on the interest you accumulate as well.

Extrapolating the growth of your retirement savings over many years and seeing how much your savings can grow can take the pain out of your monthly contributions, and may even convince you to increase the amount of money you set aside from each paycheck.

CNBC Make It used a compound interest calculator to demonstrate how much you’d have at 67 if you put away $500 a month beginning at various ages. Keep in mind that these calculations are done in a vacuum, and don’t account for variables that can affect wealth growth over time, such as economic factors, rises or dips in interest rates, cash windfalls or emergency expenses.

If you start saving at 25

  • With a 4% rate of return: $654,763
  • With a 6% rate of return: $1,140,756
  • With an 8% rate of return: $2,073,982

If you start saving at 30

  • With a 4% rate of return: $509,013
  • With a 6% rate of return: $819,732
  • With an 8% rate of return: $1,367,255

If you start saving at 35

  • With a 4% rate of return: $389,643
  • With a 6% rate of return: $581,735
  • With an 8% rate of return: $892,892

If you start saving at 40

  • With a 4% rate of return: $291,879
  • With a 6% rate of return: $405,290
  • With an 8% rate of return: $574,495

If you start saving at 50

  • With a 4% rate of return: $146,233
  • With a 6% rate of return: $177,499
  • With an 8% rate of return: $217,338

How to get started

If you haven’t started saving for…

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