It's never too early, or too late, to start getting your finances in order. And that starts with your retirement accounts.
Many Americans, especially younger millennials and members of Gen Z who may be just now entering the workforce, don't understand one of the most basic and popular retirement accounts: a 401(k).
"It sounds so foreign, so they don't inquire about it and they figure they'll get to it at some point," says Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, a financial adviser, board chair and president of the Charles Schwab Foundation. But that's a mistake.
If you have access to one, this account is a crucial workplace benefit. In fact, one of the biggest errors that people make when it comes to retirement is failing to take full advantage of tax-advantaged company-sponsored plans, such as 401(k)s, Schwab-Pomerantz says.
That can lead to a lot of uncertainty and stress about the future. Almost eight out of 10 Americans say they're concerned about not having enough money for retirement, according to Northwestern Mutual's 2018 Planning & Progress Study.
But it's not hard to get on, or back on, track, especially if your job can help you out. Here are five easy ways to make smart 401(k) choices in 2019.