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How to start saving for retirement

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Are you saving (enough) for your retirement? Chances are you aren't. Jobs aren't secure, pensions are being eliminated, and people are living longer. That means you have to take charge, now more than ever, in planning for your future.

In fact, you really need to start early to be able to save enough for retirement. But even if you are already older, that doesn't mean you should just throw your hands in the air and give up before you start.

Lauren Lyons Cole, a personal finance expert and certified financial planner, came to Fox 5 News to offer some basic tips to get you started.

"We've got so many competing financial priorities and that's just the realty, so retirement often gets placed on the back burner for a lot of Americans," Lyons Cole said. "We've got to bring it up to the front of our minds and make sure that we're focusing on that just a little bit every year.

1. You should aim to save one time your annual salary in your 30s, three times your salary by the time you're in your 40s, and five times by your 50s. You are aiming to save eight times your peak annual salary by the time you retire.

2. If your company offers a 401(K), get in on it now and make sure to invest enough to maximize your company's contribution because that is free money. For example, if your company matches 50 cents to your dollar up to 3 percent of your annual salary, you should invest 6 percent to get the company's full match. Don't leave that money on the table.

3. For many, a Roth IRA is a really good option for saving for retirement. (Make sure to check income restrictions.) You can contribute up to $5,500 per year to a Roth IRA, and you actually have until April 15, 2014, to contribute toward your 2013 allotment.

4. The sooner you start saving, the better, and the more you can afford to save the better.

Click here to read more of Lyons Cole's money tips.

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