Before we get into whys, whats, and whos behind saving for retirement, here is everything you need to know about how to get started, in one chart. It’s the “thing” in the “I don’t know the first thing about saving for retirement,” it’s the nuts and bolts behind every savings action you’ll take, and it’s easy to share to help your friends understand the first steps towards allocating their money towards retirement. Just give a shoutout back to where you read it first (and leave a comment if you have questions so the Retirist can continually improve).

How Retirement Savings Work in 1 Chart

Note to readers: This is not comprehensive and is meant to cover the most common scenarios. As you can see from any chart that has a “etc.” in it, these topics could all be covered in much more detail. The nonprofit and government sectors, for instance, hold more account options for certain employees than the 403(b). The investment list of Step 2 could include many more complex financial instruments. (I consider the ones listed as key building blocks.) Finally, there are many schools of thought about the balance of risky stocks versus safer bonds for aging investors, so Step 3 offers benchmarks. not hard guidelines.

Want to learn about any of this in detail? Comment with your questions, and I’ll let you know when they are tackled in a future post.