As a young adult, you may find yourself working your first job, and enjoying your first apartment and first car.And while retirement planning may be the farthest thing from your mind, it shouldn’t be. Take some smart steps now, and you can reap the benefits later, with more money and resources than you might think possible.”Saving and investing for your future is one of the most important things you can do,” says Charles Sachs, CFP®, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional .These tips from a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional can help:Pay it forward. One of the easiest ways young adults can save for retirement is to invest in a 401(K) plan offered by an employer.When you sign up for an automatic contribution, the money comes out of your paycheck before you see it, so you won’t miss it now, but you will appreciate it later after it has grown over time.Two other reasons to take advantage of a 401(k)? The extra funds earned if your employer matches your contributions (though not all employers do this) and funds saved because the money you put in a 401(k) is tax-deferred, which means it reduces your taxable income until you withdraw it in retirement.- Pay it back. Another way to get a head start on a secure financial future is to set financial goals and prioritize early, according to CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional Douglas Boneparth, CFP®.”Know who you owe money to (government or private loans), how much you owe and the interest rates associated with each loan. Educate yourself and don’t be in denial,” he says.”Take a look at your pay stub and start to understand all the different things that are withheld from your paycheck such as taxes, health insurance premiums and 401(k) contributions. What you end up with — your ‘net’ — is the money you actually have to build your budget,” Mr. Boneparth explains.Decide how to spend what’s left. For many young adults, that includes paying off student loans, but also could involve saving for a house or for further education.A CFP® professional can provide guidance and advice as you consider these points in retirement planning: What do you want? When do you want it? How much will it cost?Visit LetsMakeAPlan.org for more advice and tips to get in on the ground floor of smart money management and building wealth for retirement.