Start planning early
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to calculate that saving for 50 years will yield more than saving for 20 years.
But what 20-year-old wants to forgo critical funds for a day that's so far off into the future?
That's why a Stanford University study has gotten so much attention, says Ruth Hayden, financial consultant and author of "Start Where You Are: Retirement Planning in a Changing World."
Researchers found out that when they showed young workers digitally aged photos of themselves at retirement age, workers were more willing to put money aside for their future selves.
"It changes their perception," Hayden says. And when it comes to planning for retirement, "that intellectual and emotional ownership is critical."
One big rule for the new retirement: Financial literacy needs to be a lifelong pursuit, says Rix.
Do it right, and money planning will be downright boring, Hayden says. "Plain-vanilla" strategies -- such as regular contributions, slow-and-steady growth and diversification -- are often most effective over the long haul, she says. It's also important to get advice from trusted, neutral advisers when you can afford it, she says.
Two of the biggest mistakes employees make are cashing out the 401(k) after a job change and leaving an employer's matching dollars on the table, says Hayden.