Kevin O'Leary explains why debt is evil and it's crucial to be debt-free by the time you hit this milestone.
For many people just beginning their careers, retirement seems too far away to start planning.
But in order to retire in your 60s, you need to get started down the right financial path early by saving and minimizing unnecessary debt, according to Kevin O'Leary, an investor on ABC's "Shark Tank" and personal finance author.
"People today don't spend enough time thinking about the future and what they've got to save for when they get old," O'Leary tells CNBC Make It. "It's not easier when you're older to make money — it's easy to make money when you're younger.
"You've got to save it while you're making it — that's the whole idea of financial freedom," says O'Leary.
That's because your spending, responsibilities and likelihood to take on debt only increase as you get older.
So start planning as early as possible for how to pay off that debt throughout your life, O'Leary suggests. That way, you can be financially secure by the time you retire.
When should you aim to have it all paid off? Age 45, O'Leary says.
"The reason I say 45 is the turning point, or in your 40s, is because think about a career: Most careers start in early 20s and end in the mid-60s," O'Leary says. "So, when you're 45 years old, the game is more than half over, and you better be out of debt, because you're going to use the rest of the innings in that game to accrue capital."
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Kevin O'Leary: The Age You Should Have Your Debt Paid Off By | CNBC Make It.