10 secrets to successfully save for retirement

Set aside as much as you possibly can

You're selling yourself short if you don't save as much as you can every year.

Most advisers say you need to set aside at least 10% to 15% to attain a reasonable level of financial security in retirement. If you can't do this now, then start small and increase your contributions over time. By doing so, you'll learn to live on less money and won't miss it as much.

Start by saving 3% of your income, then increase that by 1% every six months. In five years, you'll comfortably be socking away 13% of your income.

"People who end up with nice nest eggs are the ones who started early and made it a habit," says David Shucavage of Carolina Estate Planners in Wilmington, N.C. "Once they got into the habit of saving, they started to save more over time."

Our 401(k) calculator shows how your nest egg will grow based on your contributions.