Investing earlier matters, especially for women

Investing earlier matters, especially for women

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — With rising inflation and higher prices on most everything, you may be relying on dividends from investment accounts or other savings to get by.

Financial advisers encourage starting your nest egg as early in life as possible. If you waited until later in your career to invest in retirement savings or even the stock market, chances are you’re going to spend the rest of your working years playing catch-up.

Recent studies show younger women are much savvier to early investing and steering their own course for financial security.

Karla Magana and Alicia Letchworth are students in UNLV’s Lee Business School. They’re at different stages of life but both want a career where the money they make will be working for them.

“I think money makes the world move,” said Karla Magana, UNLV student.

A finance and accounting major, she already knows that one key to growing her money is not putting off until tomorrow what she can invest today.

“The most valuable thing I’ve learned is to start looking for those investment opportunities early in your career,” she said.

Letchworth is returning to school from the workforce with a lot of experience, and a son in his 20s. She’s going after a master’s degree in business and wants to be financially independent.

“You never know what’s coming at you in life, even if you’re young and healthy, you just don’t know. You shouldn’t depend on your partner or your parents or somebody else to be managing your money for you and understanding how it works,” Letchworth said.

CBS News Business Analyst, Jill Schlesinger agrees and said women should learn to bank on their own longevity.

“Women statistically are going to live longer than men. So if you are partnered with a man that is of the same age, then you’re probably going to outlive him,” she said.

A nest egg that grows as your life experiences do is important and it’s not that hard to get started.

“It is so much easier to invest now than for anyone over the age of 35. Investing is as easy as opening up an app on a phone and plugging in information.”

WATCH: Full interview with Jill Schlesinger

A recent Fidelity investments study of 2000 investors shows most of the women 35 and older waited to open an investment account until at least the age of 30 about 10 years later than younger women surveyed. About the same was true for retirement savings.

In fact, about 50% of Gen Z and Millennials said they had started investing in the past year or plan too soon while 36% of older women regret waiting too long to build their security.

And just to prove how starting younger can really pay off; a 25-year-old putting away just $50 a month can make about $100,000 more than a woman who waits until age 40 with slightly more invested over the long run.

“I think there has been a lot more education and a lot more media attention on how important it is to start early in your investing life,” Schlesinger said.

Another savings hurdle for women of all ages is making lower wages than their male co-workers.

“For example, if you’re only earning 80% of what your male counterpart is earning, then you can’t save enough for retirement or as much for retirement,” she said.

So starting early and taking a little risk when you can afford it could pay off great rewards when you need it most.

“I think if you start early with small amounts and trial and error and just try to learn a little bit as you go along, you’ll amass a lot of knowledge very quickly and become more of an expert.

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