An individual should start putting money into a retirement account in his 20s, according to CNN Money. The earlier a person begins placing money into a tax-deferred account the better because compounding-interest requires time to make substantial gains.
Even a ten-year delay in starting a retirement account creates a significant difference in the funds available at retirement. For example, investing $3,000 per year from age 25 to age 35, at an eight percent interest rate, results in a retirement account worth over $450,000 by the age of 65. Waiting to invest until age 35, and then investing $3,000 for 30 years at an eight percent interest rate results in a retirement account worth approximately $360,000.