Even though many young adults are just starting to enter the workforce, it’s never too early to start planning for retirement, according to an expert.

Kristi Rodriguez, Senior Vice President of the Nationwide Retirement Institute, offered three tips for Gen Z and Millennials to prepare for their eventual retirement.

First, “find your why,” said Rodriguez, advising young adults to examine their motivations for saving for retirement. “How do you see your life not only today, but how do you see it in the future? “

Then start saving for retirement as soon as possible. Rodriguez noted that the average age at which Nationwide participants started saving for retirement was 31, which she called “very late.”

“The most valuable thing you have is the time and availability to save,” Rodriguez said. “The sooner you can start, even if it is small increments, is very important to make sure you build up and enjoy this game.”

(Photo: Getty Creative)

This is even more important for young investors who wish to retire early before age 55. Rodriguez. He said investing early and contributing as much as possible to pension plans is “the deepest way to approach” the goal of early retirement.

Those who dream of early retirement should also think about what their retirement will look like and save and invest according to their specific retirement goals, like traveling or continuing to work part-time as a concert worker.

“What’s your biggest plan? Rodriguez said, and plan for it.

Finally, she noted that many young adults find information for retirement and other personal financial planning through social media, but she cautioned them to use credible sources and rely on more traditional resources.

“The best opportunity to save money is to bring in a financial professional,” Rodriguez said.

Young happy creative team are four students of multicultural colleagues brainstorming a project together sitting in a classroom desk using laptops near the panoramic window.

(Photo: Getty Creative)

This is especially true as young adults balance other financial obligations like paying off student debt and remain concerned about whether Social Security will be there when they retire.

“Everyone’s plan will be different,” she said.

For parents, Rodriguez shared a tip: it’s never too early to teach their kids about money.

She recommended that parents bring their children with them when they consult with their financial planners, and when discussing New Year’s resolutions with their children, they should include their financial goals.

“Have these conversations,” Rodriguez said. “Just as we prepare at the start of the year to think about fitness goals, those financial goals should be there. “

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Ella is the personal finance reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on twitter @bookgirlchicago.

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