Grow up financially while you’re still young.

imagesThe old adage of ‘the earlier you start to save for retirement, the better’ holds true today especially today. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself when starting to think about your options:

How much should I save?

Try to start out at around 15 percent, and that’s a minimum figure — 15 percent of your salary. It should be as easy putting that much away and more into a 401(k) plan. If you have a 401(k) with a match, up to half can of your savings can come from your employer.

Where should I invest my savings?

Index funds are a great way to get started since they allow you a wide range of investments including funds that invest in domestic stocks and bonds, and international stocks. A solid investment portfolio mixes equal parts of all three. The key aspect of an index fund is that it is generally cheaper.

What if I have a low paying job that doesn’t allow me to save much?

First off, jobs are increasingly driven by versatile job skills. Fast food service, for instance should be an entry-level job, especially for young people entering the workforce. If there’s no clear path for advancement, you’re clearly ready to move on. Find a skill and learn it so it differentiates you from other entry-level workers. Experience counts, but skills are far more important and better paid.

Successful investing starts at a young age, and is a super-productive habit that really pays off when you need it over the span of your entire lifetime. It starts with a basic understanding of financial markets and trends. As any sage investor says, if you know recent market history, the very best investments are made when things look worst.

More importantly, accept the fact that humans aren’t exactly hard-wired from childhood to invest, at least most of us. It’s one thing to make a quick investment decision today, but when you put it into the context of a 30-year timeframe to make it come to fruition, it becomes clear that all it takes is a little effort, learning and maturity to see clearly into your future and help ensure its financial health and longevity.

FM International Services (NY), Ltd. provides a wide range of retirement services featuring customized benefit plans, flexible investment options, and centralized pension administration. Through Fmi’s countless services, businesses of all sizes create unique domestic and international retirement plans for two employees or two thousand – with a single provider handling conversion, setup, and administration. For more information, please call 1 (888) 960-1801 or visit


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