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The scrimper's guide to boosting your 401(k)

Feel like you haven't saved enough for retirement? You're not alone.
/ Source: TODAY

Feel like you haven’t saved enough for retirement? You’re not alone.

A new report that found that people aren’t saving much money in their retirement accounts: The median 401K value was $18,433, but nearly 40 percent of employees have less than $10,000 in their accounts, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

But don’t despair! For most people, there’s still time to build that nest egg. There are a few steps you can still take to to help get ahead of the game.

  • Make the most of your current 401k investments. For example, make sure to contribute at least 10 to 15 percent of your pay, and take advantage of any employer contribution match plan.
  • Starting planning for your retirement medical savings. The best way to keep down medical costs later? Take care of yourself now, experts say. Chronic conditions, such as heart disease or diabetes, can be nipped in the bud by maintaining a healthy diet and exercise.
  • Pinch those pennies. Tightening the belt and curbing expenses has helped numerous individuals retire earlier. This might mean a dramatic change in spending habits for those now paying to send a child to college, which can undermine retirement savings plans.
  • Delaying the start of when you begin to draw Social Security can be a real boost. The Social Security Administration bumps benefit payments up 8 percent for every year that an individual postpones filing a claim after the full retirement age of 66. Wait until 70, when filing is mandatory, and the check will be about 32 percent bigger every month. Social Security is adjusted for inflation.

Find other tips on how to make the most of your retirement savings here.