The 401(k) plan was devised by Congress to help individuals save for retirement. How much and how quickly your contributions will grow will vary based on when you enroll in your account, how much you contribute each year, whether or not your employer matches contributions, how many years you have until retirement, and your specific investments and their returns. The earlier in your career you begin contributing to a 401(k), the more time your money has to grow due to compound growth. The power of compounding is that when your investments generate returns, those returns can be invested and begin generating returns of their own. This can add up to a sizable chunk over time!