Conventional wisdom says you should always make saving for retirement a priority (even when you’re young), either through a 401(k), IRA, or other plan.

Just look at this powerful example of how compound interest can make anyone a millionaire.

But is there ever a time when you should delay retirement contributions to pay off debt?

This is an important question, since many young adults are burdened by outsized student loan debts as well as a host of other debts. It can be almost impossible to make progress on other fronts, financial or otherwise, when you have large monthly payments to make.

So when is the right time to make paying off debt a priority – even to the point that you will delay retirement contributions?