NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Despite a rocky economy and a stock market returning pennies on the dollar so far in 2014, we're seeing some good news on the personal retirement front.
A study from Financial Finesse, an online money management website, reports that American workers are "more focused" on their money issues, especially their retirement planning.
All the news isn't good, though. According to Financial Finesse, 42% of survey respondents say they are concerned they will not reach future financial goals, versus 35% in 2012.
Maybe that's why so many workers are more energized about their retirement savings.
"With the increased urgency, employees overall are becoming more proactive about their financial planning and making improvements in areas that support their long-term financial security," the study says.
Financial Finesse also says a "greater percentage of employees are taking steps to improve their financial situations on a regular basis":
- 47% have taken a risk tolerance assessment, versus 44% in 2012.
- 36% say they rebalance their investment accounts, versus 31% in 2012.
- 47% are maximizing all available federal tax credits and deductions, up from 44% in 2012.
Here are a few thoughts on ways you can improve your long-term savings goals, especially if you're saving through a 401(k) plan or an IRA:
Don't borrow from your 401(k). Sometimes people need cash, and right away. (Think of a major health issue or natural disaster such as a flood or hurricane for which insurance doesn't cover the loss.) But if you borrow the money from your 401(k) plan and don't pay the money back right away, you're taking money away that was compounding annually, putting a major dent in your retirement savings.