Jean Chatzky
A writer for Crain's Pensions & Investments, Mark Bruno became inspired to help young people save for retirement while struggling with his own savings plan throughout his 20s. In his book Save Now or Die Trying: Achieving Long-Term Wealth in Your 20s and 30s , Mark says it's a big mistake to put off retirement planning and offers tips on the best ways to start saving today. Mark shares with Jean his advice on how to achieve long-term wealth:

  • Start saving now. "The earlier you start saving money, the more you will have," Mark says. It really doesn't take that much to get a savings plan going—just a little bit of understanding about where to begin, he says.
  • A little contribution is better than nothing. "You don't have to take a huge chunk out of your paycheck to contribute to retirement," Mark says. As little as $150 a month can begin to build a nest egg that could be worth a lot of money down the road, he says.
  • Use your employer to help you. If your company matches contributions to a 401(k) plan, that's like free money, Mark says. "Nobody really spells that out for you at an early age," he says.
  • Sign up for automatic enrollment. Automatic enrollment, which routinely deposits funds from your paycheck into your desired savings plan, makes too much sense to say no to, Mark says. "It's a nice way of getting people to participate," he says.
  • Consider hiring a financial adviser. Beginning the process can be very intimidating, so Mark says working with a financial adviser can help you get things started.