5 Ways People Sabotage Their Own Retirement

These common mistakes can lead to hardship, or even poverty, later in life.

Elderly woman looks sad
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The Center finds that the two most important factors for creating a retirement nest egg are one's savings rate and the age of retirement. "If people could work until they're 70, they would have a much higher chance of having a secure retirement. Social Security is higher if you wait until age 70, and it gives your 401(k) assets a longer chance to grow, and it reduces the number of years you have to support yourself," says Alicia Munnell, the center's director. Less important was the rate of return earned on investments.

So don't despair if your investments are still recovering from the last recession—just start saving now, to make up for any lost time.