These days, if you really want to scare someone, use the words retirement and poverty in the same sentence. David McPherson used those words in a recent article published at ABC News. Unfortunately, his suggestions may just help you get only a hair's breadth away.
Just a couple of thoughts on his suggestions: The sooner we think of the money we put away as an "investment" and not savings, the sooner we will get over the shock that we might lose a little ground along the way in order to gain more over the long-term. Far too many writers make this mistake.
He also suggests that a 1% contribution is the best place to start. I strongly disagree. A five percent jumping off point, match or no match, will not, in all most every instance, have any effect on a person's take-home pay. And that is usually the focus of concern for most beginners whose focus is on the prize at the end of the week; not the end of the career.
The last thought: Don't be conservative about this effort. Risk is the only path to reward over a long period of time. If you are young, assume a lot of it. As you age, assume less.
Read his thoughts here.