13 retirement myths

Myth No. 1: You need a big income to build a big nest egg. Other myths busted: A million bucks is your magic number and what it takes to retire early - from Money Magazine.

Top priority is the kids' college
MYTH
Top priority is the kids' college
Unless you expect your children to support you in retirement, stop thinking like an all-nurturing parent. When you have kids, it's only natural to believe that college needs are more pressing than your far more distant retirement. A recent survey by the College Savings Foundation found that 53% of parents consider college savings their top priority, ahead of retirement or a house.

Problem is, this kind of thinking can lead you to pass up a big weapon: the power of compounding over time.

Save $100 a month from age 25 to 35, then stop and let the money grow. You'll have $182,000 in 30 years. Wait until you turn 45 to start saving and you'll have to put away $315 a month for 20 years to end up with the same amount.

Then too, if you come up short when it's time to pay for college, you (and your kids) can get help, from loans to outright grants. You can't apply for a retirement scholarship at age 65. That doesn't mean you should give up entirely on saving for college or other goals. Just make putting away money for retirement your top priority.

As for college, don't assume you have to save enough to pay the full price tag - for most families, a reasonable goal is to save for a third of the costs and make up the rest through financial aid, loans and your income when classes start and the bills roll in.
Big income 401(k)s Debt Million dollars Baby boomers Pensions Social Security Your house Too old Stock swings Paying for college Early retirement 401(k) - on your own
Harvest a rich 401(k) Would you like your retirement income guaranteed or tax-free? That's the choice you get with two new 401(k)s investment options. (more)
Best places to retire The best neighborhoods in America's largest towns. Spotlight on Portland, Ore., Manhattan and more. (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.