The Insured Retirement Institute put pencil to paper on the question of just how much procrastination can cost someone saving for retirement and came up with an attention-grabbing figure: $127,000.

That's the amount of retirement income lost when someone earning $42,000 a year at age 30 postpones saving for retirement until 40.

The point of the IRI's efforts? To underscore that, while it's true the ability to put money away isn't always something people can control, it's also true that the sooner you start, the less of your income you'll need to put away.

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