Why the 401(k) Is Your Secret to Success

Of all the money problems Americans face today, from debt to medical expenses to paying for their kids’ college, which one do you think tops the list? If your answer has anything to do with retirement, you’re right on the money. Nearly 60% of Americans worry that they won’t have enough money for retirement.

Your golden years have the potential to be the best of your life. Don’t let fear sidetrack your dreams. In honor of Annual 401(k) Day, we're here to help you take control with these two secrets for retirement success.

Secret 1: Get in the Game

Common sense will tell you the easiest way to fail is to never try at all. Choosing to ignore investing opportunities available through your workplace retirement plan is a sure way to end up with a goose egg in your golden years. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, workers who participated in a retirement plan were more than twice as confident in their ability to retire comfortably as those with no plan at all.

So stop worrying and start investing! Just make sure you’re debt-free with three to six months of expenses in an emergency fund first. You’ll get the most bang for your investing buck when you free up your biggest wealth-building tool: your income.

Secret 2: Give It Your Best Shot

With so many factors to consider, getting retirement right can feel like an impossible puzzle to solve.

Related: 401(k)? It's All Greek to Me

Don’t get so caught up in these details that you overlook the biggest win of all. A recent study in the ASPPA Journal found that retirement success depends more on your savings rate than anything else. That’s great news! Why? Because it means you’re in control of your own destiny. The more money you put in, the better you’ll feel about your future!

You can begin to build a secure tomorrow by starting with your employer’s 401(k). If you can’t invest 15% out of the gate, that’s okay. Start somewhere and increase your contributions gradually over time.

Related: 4 Ways You May Be Sabotaging Your Retirement

You Can Do It!

Success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes courage to get started on your retirement goals and discipline to stick with your plan. Remember that retirement investing is a long-term business, and the longer you keep at it, the more successful you can be. You can start today by exploring your company’s retirement plan and signing up for automatic contributions to the plan with your next paycheck.