You can start investing for retirement when you earn income for the first time. That’s when you can begin contributing to an individual retirement account (IRA). You can participate in retirement plans that your employers offer. If you work for yourself or own a small business, you can establish your own retirement plan. In fact, ideally, you’ll take advantage of several of these ways to accumulate retirement savings during your working life. These dedicated assets, in combination with your taxable investment accounts, Social Security, and an employer pension if you have one, are the foundation of a financially secure future. In 1900, retirement wasn’t a hot topic. Employers didn’t offer pensions, there was no Social Security, and the average life expectancy was 50. More than a century later, everything’s changed. More than 44 million people collect retirement benefits, and that number is expected to reach 72 million by 2030. And people are living much longer: Current estimates suggest that a million or more people now in their 40s can expect to live to be 100 or more. The truth is that retirement age is relative, not fixed. Some government workers retire after 20 years of service— sometimes as soon as   Read more…