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01/17/2013 11:33 am ET | Updated Mar 10, 2015

Saving Money: Suze Orman's Financial Advice For Post-Grads

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By Suze Orman

You absolutely must... save for retirement.

Yes, you're scrambling to pay the rent. But please listen to me: Pushing yourself to save even a small amount now is, hands down, the single smartest investment play you can make. It's all about the time your money will have to marinate -- "compounding" is the technical term -- before you need it in retirement.

In a perfect world, let's say you invest $5,000 a year starting at age 25. Assuming your money grows at an annualized 6 percent, you'll have approximately $820,000 by the time you're 65. Now let's suppose you don't start investing until age 35. You'll have to sock away about $9,800 a year to wind up with the same nest egg. (A $5,000 annual investment for 30 years will yield just $419,000.) And don't kid yourself that it's easy to save money as you grow older; you'll likely have children and a mortgage tugging at your purse strings.

Under no circumstances should you... fall behind on student loan payments.

Even if you were to declare bankruptcy, your debt would likely not be forgiven. If you're having trouble paying your bills, go to studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans to learn about deferment and forbearance options.

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