1. Create a Budget. Being organized and sticking to a monthly budget is essential to maximizing your retirement savings. As you line-item your monthly budget you will likely find expenses which you could eliminate or reduce, which are additional dollars that you can direct towards your retirement plan.
  2. Maximize Your Employer Match. If your company provides an employer match, be sure that you are taking full advantage of it and not leaving free money on the table. For example, if you are currently contributing 5% of your salary to your 401k, but your company offers a match up to 6% of your salary, then you should consider increasing your contribution to 6%, as you would then be maximizing your employer match.
  3. Avoid Withdrawals. Some retirement plans allow you to take a loan, or withdraw your money from the plan, and this can be tempting. However, taking a loan or withdrawal is generally a bad idea as it may stunt the long-term growth of your account.
  4. Rebalance. Rebalancing your investments on an annual basis allows you to take advantage of market dislocations and is a best practice of many successful investors. Think buy low, sell high. And re-balancing is one way to accomplish this.
  5. Know Your Expenses. Many retirement savers think their retirement plan is free, but that is certainly not the case. Although low expenses do not guarantee a higher return, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the expenses of your retirement plan and be sure they are reasonable, as excessive fees can significantly impact your savings.