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A hand is taking a calendar page out from the desk calendar, and each calendar page is a money bill.
Martín Elfman for Money

The adage “save early and save often” gets tossed around so frequently that for folks in their 20s and 30s it can start to sound like a nag from a parent.

You know that it’s important to save for retirement, but that’s easier said than done when other priorities get in the way, like student loan payments (which are coming back this fall), medical debt, caretaking or other responsibilities. Yet the cost of waiting, even just a little bit, to start saving for retirement can come back to haunt you later in life.

Starting small now — and we are talking really small — is going to help future you be in a much better place down the line.

When should you start retirement savings?