You probably have a knack for math.

So one day, you realize you have saved very little money for retirement.

I’m sure there are many reasons why this happens, but many people take a rough estimate at age 35 and think that’s going to set them up for life.

You should never take your savings lightly because every year you delay saving more money comes at a price.

How much are you saving now?

Stop and consider the following question: How much do you need to have saved for retirement if you plan to earn 8% or 9% returns and live in a place with weather that’s at least fair?

There’s not much to do but write a check

There’s nothing much to say other than you should always continue to put money into your retirement plan, but you need to be responsible.

What’s the one mistake you’re making? Look at the mix of income you have coming in compared to spending and debt.

A high-paying job tends to reduce income, and you can’t simply invest extra money into a 401(k) and let everything sit there waiting for a lifetime of returns. You have to save more each year.

My father, a board certified accountant, could never save enough for retirement. He typically maxed out the 401(k) accounts that he had access to and then paid down the debt whenever he could.

When he died, I couldn’t imagine saving more, because the thought of having to face those bills was one reason he hadn’t saved.

What do you need to save for retirement?

What goals have you set yourself?

Do you want to take that corporate pension, or are you just seeking retirement savings opportunities to live the way you want?

Have you started saving for retirement? You probably have a knack for math.

So one day, you realize you have saved very little money for retirement.

Facing this daunting challenge can be pretty intimidating, but don’t be afraid to seek the help of an expert.

Look into IRAs, Group Insurance, Regular 401(k) plans, or other types of retirement plan.

Try to put that $100 on a prepaid card so you can spend it as you please.

But always have three months worth of living expenses saved up in cash to help you meet your monthly budget and meet any expenses that may arise.

Stocks can have bad years, too, but unlike bonds, they will allow you to capture at least some appreciation, even if there is some volatility along the way.

Over time, you can have more confidence in a solid stream of monthly payments from a regular investment.

Too many people think they have time on their side. But the truth is, that means waiting until you’re at age 65 to start saving, which means leaving money on the table.

And that puts you behind not only the eight ball, but also behind your own peers. Stocks like dividend-paying ones are easy to set up if you can only use a tax-advantaged account, such as a Roth IRA or 401(k). But risk can often be greater in this space.

Stocks do come with risks, but if you have long-term beliefs, that can be a benefit. You need to plan ahead, you can’t sit back and hope for the best. There’s so much at stake, and you must be disciplined.