What to save now to enjoy the payoff later

Published On: Jan 17 2013 07:16:18 AM EST   Updated On: Jan 17 2013 07:40:00 AM EST

A woman makes 82 cents for every dollar a man makes on the job. Add it all up, plus the time women take off to raise their children, and they’re losing about $400,000 over a 40-year career.

“My father always said, ‘If you make five, put two away. If you got a dime, put a nickel away,’” said Jackie Jackson.

It’s a lesson well-learned for Jackie, but not all of us are as financial savvy, so we broke it down decade by decade.

In your twenties, start living on 50 percent of your take-home pay. Put 20 percent more into debt repayment and retirement.

In your thirties, build a back-up plan by saving 10 percent of your take-home pay for emergencies. Add an extra 5 percent to your normal house payment to pay off the mortgage quicker.

At age 40, accelerate your retirement by tucking away 10 percent of your paycheck each month. By doing this, a 30-year-old woman making $30,000 a year, will have nearly $300,000 saved for retirement by the time she’s 55 -- proof that a little saved now will pay off big in the end.

One tip to help you get started saving: the average family spends almost $2,700 a year going out to eat. That’s $225 a month. Cut one night out, and you’ll have an extra $100 a month for your retirement.