If you're looking to catch up or get ahead on saving for retirement, there are steps you can take to do that, including the five that follow:
Start saving your money early
Young workers tend to get overwhelmed by choices and opt to delay savings. In reality, it's better to just start saving with no undue emphasis on investing. Target date funds are a solid starter option for younger 401(k) participants that provide an instantly diversified portfolio.
Commit a percentage of your income
Saving a percentage of your income can allow you to start out small, without feeling the pinch when you get a raise. If a person saves 10 percent of their $50,000 salary, they're saving $5,000 annually. Any raises will add up to an automatic savings increase.
Pretend bonuses never happened
If you come upon a bonus at work or other windfall, resist the temptation to spend it. Instead, put that money toward your 401(k). Since your monthly budget likely wasn't already accounting for a sudden boost in income, you won't miss the extra dollars from your checking account.
Take advantage of auto-escalation
A plan with an auto-escalation feature is one relatively painless way to increase your contributions. Many 401(k) plans allow you to increase the percentage you are saving at a certain interval — such as every six months or 12 months. Start out at, say, 3 percent and set your auto increase at 2 percent every 6 months.
Reduce the cost of your 401(k)
Funds with low expense ratios tend to outperform funds with higher expense ratios. The average worker pays an estimated $138,000 in 401(k) fees in a lifetime, according to the Center for American Progress. Although you might not be able to control what plan your employer offers, try to reduce your investment costs as much as you can.