1. Not taking advantage of time. The earlier you start, the more your money will have time to grow in your retirement accounts. Too many people make the mistake of putting off starting a retirement savings plan.
2. Not investing regularly. Many people start investing and then stop. If you do not invest on a regular basis, you cannot expect your retirement savings to grow.
3. Not taking full advantage of tax-free retirement accounts. The more you put into tax-free retirement accounts, the more money you can grow tax-free. If you can afford to put in the maximum contribution to your retirement accounts each year, you should do so.
4. Poor asset allocation. If you are investing too conservatively, you may not be able to build the amount you are hoping to have for your retirement years. Conversely, if you are getting close to retirement and are investing in high-risk investment vehicles, you may lose much of what you have worked so hard to save. How you allocate your assets is more important than what you select within a given asset class.
5. Not creating a post-retirement plan. As you approach retirement you should determine how much money you will need and establish a plan for handling your money during your retirement years. This would include knowing all of your income sources, including investments, Social Security, and pensions.