The employer’s matching contribution in a 401(k) retirement account is essentially free money. However, after reviewing 2 million portfolios in 2010, Financial Engines discovered that only 39% of participants were saving enough to get the full employer’s match. This is particularly prevalent for people in their 20s and 30s.

Here’s a happier trend.  People who seek professional financial advice tend to save more for retirement.  A survey by Schwab in 2010 showed that 70% of people who received advice increased their saving rate to average of 10% of their pay.

Take aways:

  1. Save at least enough in your 401(k) to get the company match
  2. Increase your contribution each year until you reach at least 10% of your pay