At 26 years old, it is hard to think about retirement. I have only been employed full-time for two years - retirement is likely about 40 years away, if it even happens. However, I am aware that it is important to start saving as early as you can. I think what took me so long was that the process seemed kind of scary, especially with how the market has been the past year. So many of my friends and family lost so much in 2008 that I rationalized it was better to have the cash on hand to spend (although I probably wasted it away on diet Cokes and mid afternoon snacks).
When I took the leap and went to the retirement orientation that was offered, I was shocked when the representative explained that with people living into their 90s, most people will spend as many or maybe even more years in retirement than they will working. You figure, if you start working around 22 and plan to work until you're 60, that's 38 years. If you retire at 60, that's 38 If you live to be 90, that is 30 years in retirement with expenses to be covered (potentially some spent in a really expensive nursing home). That blows my mind.
My employer has an excellent match that I could have been benefiting from about a year ago. I will definitely take it now.