Fund your 401(k) or IRA first?
Do you get an employer match?
The first question you want to ask is, does your employer match funds, says Ed Slott, author of "The Retirement Savings Time Bomb ... and How to Defuse It."
"It's free money, so you don't want to give that up," he says.
The typical match today: 50 cents on the dollar up to 6 percent of your income, says Craig Copeland, a senior research associate at the Employee Benefits Research Institute.
So if you earn $50,000, and bank $3,000 in your retirement account this year, you get an additional $1,500 from your employer as a reward.