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5 Retirement Savings Strategies for 2013

"Most employees pay the lion's share of 401(k) plan expenses. Review the information with your fellow employees and ask your employer about these costs as group. A reduction of 0.50% in annual plan fees can have a huge effect on your account balance at retirement. But most employers don't take the time to negotiate the plan fees until their employees ask," warns Robert Massa of Ascende Wealth Advisers.

4. Take advantage of the increase

If you're already contributing the maximum on your 401(k) or Roth IRA, you can now throw an extra $500 toward these accounts this year, thanks to that increase in the contribution limits.

"Many companies today offer an automatic escalation feature in the 401(k) or Roth 401(k) plan. These features allow for an automatic annual increase in the amount you are contributing without you doing anything. You can usually opt out of the increase should your circumstances change," says Chris Jones, chief investment officer at Financial Engines.

A Roth 401(k), by the way, is a hybrid between the 401(k) and the Roth IRA that some employers now offer.

5. Understand the power of compounding interest

A cornerstone of retirement savings is time -- the longer you save, the more you'll end up with, thanks to compounding interest.

"If a 35-year-old investor contributes an additional $1,000 to her investment portfolio each year and it grows at 7% per year, the total value would be almost $150,000 by her age 70," says Sarah C. Tims, CFP partner and senior wealth manager at RMB Capital Management.

--Written by Scott Gamm

Gamm is the founder of the personal finance website He has appeared on NBC's TODAY, MSNBC and CNN. Follow Scott on Facebook and Twitter.

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