iStock.com/Eva Katalin Kondoros
Replace 'get it right' with 'get it started'
Some would-be retirement savers and investors never get started because they assume they must have the perfect plan right from the start. That thinking is misguided, says Ken Sutherland, a registered investment adviser and founder of LifePlan Group in Raleigh, North Carolina.
"My take is, keep it simple," he says. "Don't try to get it right. Just get it started; build a habit of saving."
Start by depositing 5% of your take-home pay into a savings account. If your paycheck is automatically deposited, transfer that money from checking to savings automatically. If you have a 401(k), save up to the level at which your employer matches your contribution -- and beyond, if you can.
The younger you are, the more sense it makes to fund a Roth IRA, Sutherland says. "Once a year before doing your taxes, transfer your savings to a Roth," he adds.