You don’t need to be a master money strategist to know that setting aside funds for your eventual retirement is a necessity. While it might be tempting to keep cash in your pocket now and assume the Social Security benefits that will kick in later will keep you afloat, the reality is that many people won’t receive enough livable income from that government program, especially with the mounting medical bills that advanced age can bring.

Unless you plan on working a full- or part-time job indefinitely, saving now will provide you with a far more comfortable third act in life. If you’re wondering how, CNBC recently broke out their retirement savings calculator to estimate what the average person can expect to end up with at age 67 if they set a goal of saving $500 per month.

At 25 years old and calculating a four percent rate of return, a retiree would have $628,918 in the bank. At six percent, it would be $1,055,703.

Obviously, the earlier you start to save, the better. But it’s never too late. If you begin saving at age 30, you’ll have $490,213 accrued at a four percent rate of return, or $763,609 at six percent. Starting at age 40 will net you $282,505 at four percent. Starting at age 50 is predictably less rewarding: at four percent interest, you’ll have $142,185.

Most people can, of course, do these back-of-napkin estimates themselves using amounts better suited to their own specific situations. Even saving as little as $200 a month early in life might make the difference between enjoying your retirement without obligation or clocking in for part-time work. 

[h/t CNBC]