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3 retirement strategies to adopt before age 30

As a young person, you exhibit the single most desirable component of the investing universe: time.

Time is the magic ingredient when it comes to making your money grow. If you haven’t yet hit the big 3-0, the financial world is your oyster. A little sacrifice now can reap you big rewards down the road.

Make the most of your time and money during this phase of your life with these three strategies. Your future self will be happy you did.

1. Live within your means
Young people face a lot of competing demands for their dollars. Buying a car, getting married, and securing a house are just a few. But don’t let the keeping-up-with-the-Joneses mentality tempt you. Sure, the Audi coupe, $40,000 wedding, and 4-bed/3-bath townhouse look amazing, but they’re the biggest obstacles on the road from here to destination financial-peace-of-mind. Getting your spending under control now will let you be in control of your financial future.

2. Pay down debt
Every dollar that’s tied up in paying down debt is one less that you can use to save for retirement. By devising a plan for reducing your debts, you can pay them off faster, allowing you to allocate more money toward retirement savings. Simply put, by paying down loans earlier you maximise future savings.

This could not be truer than for credit card liabilities. As soon as humanly possible, transfer balances from high-interest cards to those with lower rates. Ideally, find a card with a 0% introductory APR, and pay the balance off in full before the zero-percent interest clock stops.

3. Fund retirement accounts
Laying down a solid foundation for retirement right now is critically important. With compound interest accumulating over many decades until you retire, you don’t have to save nearly as much money by starting now versus if you don’t start saving for another five, 10, or 15 years.

To the victor go the spoils
Retirement might seem very far down the road. And, lucky for you, it is. By adopting sensible money habits, conquering your debts, and saving for retirement early in life, you’ll reap the reward of a secure retirement later.

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A version of this article, written by Nicole Seghetti, originally appeared on fool.com.

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