Access to a workplace retirement plan can be a valuable financial perk — if you're using it wisely.
Some typical missteps could cost you tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of your career.
That's an important consideration, given the shortfall in Americans' retirement savings. In a recent report from insurer Northwestern Mutual, two-thirds of consumers believe there is a chance they will outlive their savings.
Worse yet, a quarter of workers say their family has less than $1,000 in savings and investments, according to the 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald & Associates. Only 14 percent said their family has set aside $250,000 or more.
Amping up savings and getting a fuller sense of your retirement needs are key components, but it's also important to have a better understanding of your workplace plan and how to make it work for you, said certified financial planner Harriet J. Brackey, co-chief investment officer of GSK Wealth Advisors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.