There's an old saying that goes something to the effect of "youth is wasted on the young." This may sound like the musings of some bitter old curmudgeon but there's a kernel of truth in it. When we are young we may squander certain opportunities that we may not recognize at the time. When we get older we may have moments of clarity when we recognize that we would be in a better position if we had done things differently early on.
There are those who recognize the need to make long-term plans at a young age, and these are the people who generally enjoy comfortable retirements and subsequently find themselves more prepared for the eventualities of aging. If you start considering your retirement on the first day you embark on your career you may be a couple of decades ahead of most people. Aside from the fact that you will be better prepared to retire at the typical retirement age, you may well be able to call all of your time your own at a much sooner time.
Aiming high and keeping your eye on the prize is key, but the fact is that it takes intelligent long-term planning to simply be prepared for the basic expenses that you will be facing after retirement. People are routinely living into their late 80s and beyond these days. If you want to be successful and make the most of your retirement years, the sooner you get started the more time you'll have to accumulate assets, situate them properly, and ultimately reach your financial objectives.