Christine shares vital steps you need to take to secure your financial future:
- Invest in tax-deferred vehicles, like a Roth IRA, traditional IRA or 401k. Keep in mind that this is just an account—you then have to take that money and invest it in the market.
- T. Rowe Price recommends something it calls the 15 percent solution. "You ought to be saving at least 15 percent of your salary every year," says Christine. Don't let that scare you, though, as the 15 percent includes employer matches. Depending on how much your employer contributes to your 401(k), you could actually be pulling as little as 7 percent out of your pocket.
- Take into consideration when you started saving. If you start saving when you're 10 years away from retirement and can put in more than 15 percent of your salary, do so to play catch-up.
- Look into life-cycle funds, which will take your money and make investments based on how much time you have left before retirement. The closer you get to that date, the less risky your investments will be.
- Look at online calculators to help you come up with your magic numbers.
- Christine says the key to making your money last is the amount you withdraw the first year. Set yourself up so that in the year you start withdrawing, you take out 4 percent. Then, every year after, multiply the previous year's withdrawal by 1.03 to keep up with inflation.