How to measure financial success

Measurement 2.

Retirement savings balance

This is the total amount in your tax-deferred retirement plans – typically a 401(k) plan at work and one or two Individual Retirement Accounts.

"It gives you a sense of where you are today in comparison to where you want to be when you retire," says Kelly McRae, a vice president at Strategic and Financial Planning in Newport Beach, California.

Many Americans are falling woefully short in this measure. One in every 3 workers doesn't even have $1,000 in those accounts and nearly 2 out of 3 have less than $25,000.

How can you tell if you're on track?

A good rule of thumb, according to McRae, is to have saved twice your annual income by the time you're 40, four times by the time you're 50 and eight times by the time you turn 67.

So if you're earning $40,000 per year at age 40, you should have about $80,000 in your 401(k) and IRAs.

Let our 10 secrets to successfully save for retirement boost your balance.