#freshstart2017: Raise Your Retirement Contribution Just a Little Bit

Chances are that your job will contribute a little something to your retirement as long as you do, too. If you haven't already committed yourself to a contribution that gets the full match from your company, then do it now. Like right now. That's free money that is all yours and you're just passing it up? That's nuts.

The most common employer match structure is a dollar-for-dollar contribution up to 6%.

Considering the average employee salary is about $52,000 and that 401k deductions are taken before taxes, you could be socking away more than $3,000 in free money. If you only ever made that tiny, minimum contribution every year you would have $500,000 saved in 30 years.

That is a huge amount of money for just setting aside $60 per week.

If you are already getting your full match, then raise your contribution by 1%. Just one little tiny percent. You probably won't even notice that difference in your paycheck, but you'll definitely notice it in your nest egg.

With a $52,000 annual salary, raising your 401k contribution from 5% to 6% puts $22 more in your retirement fund per pay and only deducts $17 from your paycheck. Just that one little tiny percent will add up to $75,000 over the course of 30 years.

Don't have an employer that offers a retirement plan? Open up an IRA (individual retirement account), it's fast and easy. Nerdwallet rates IRA data and has the best options for your needs listed in a clear, concise manner. Get started today and thank yourself tomorrow (or in 40 years, whatever).