Without a plan for retirement, many people say they just plan to "wing it." Surveys show many workers feel overwhelmed by day-to-day financial pressures, worried about paying monthly expenses and job security.
While they may participate in their company's 401(k) plan or another workplace retirement plan, many workers don't know what to invest in or how much to save. As a result, they're not saving enough.
A new analysis released Tuesday by Fidelity, the nation's largest retirement plan provider, found the average 401(k) balance was $80,600 at the end of June, up nearly 11 percent from the same quarter a year ago. For steady savers who were continuously employed in a workplace plan for the past decade, the average balance rose to $211,800, nearly 19 percent higher than a year ago.
But for many, that's still not enough money to ensure a secure retirement. Not when, according to Fidelity, the average 65-year-old couple retiring today will spend about $220,000 on health-care costs alone.
Just last week, Fidelity Investments noted that families are also saving more for college, but it's still not enough to cover the likely costs.
(Read more: Financial Q&A: Your 401(k) and how to catch up)
Reality is setting in with American workers. A poll conducted earlier this summer by JPMorgan Asset Management found that while half say they would like to retire before the age of 65, only 20 percent believe they will realistically be able to do so. This leaves two options: working longer or saving more.
But how much more should you save?