If you follow the same path as so many others, there will come a day when you’ll live on a fixed income. Whether you retire at 65 or another few years after that, the goal is to eventually no longer need to work. As you work towards that goal, here’s 8 things you need to know when saving for retirement:

1. You need real, attainable goals

If you haven’t mapped out your retirement goals, now is the time. There is a number that exists for each of us that will see us through our retirement. Once you know what yours is, you can develop a plan that will help you to work towards that number over the course of your working life.

2. You should take advantage of 401 k

Many employers now offer a 401 K. If your employer offers a 401 K plan with any percentage match, it’s a good idea to start taking advantage of that plan. When your employer matches your contribution, you’re getting the equivalent to free money.

3. Once you start saving, don’t stop

Once you’ve gotten into the rhythm of saving for retirement each month, you’ll need to stick to it. Building that discipline early will help you ensure that your future self is taken care of. The longer you are away from your retirement age, the more disciplined you’ll need to be.

4. You’ll need basic investment knowledge

There are a lot of ways to invest and save your money. Ultimately, relying on inflation may not be enough. With some basic investment knowledge, you’ll be able to more effectively work with whichever institution you’re saving your money with.

5. You should leave your savings alone

Once your money has landed in a 401 K or other savings account, removing it can incur penalties. Know that once you set aside the money for retirement, it needs to stay set aside.

6. You should start an IRA

You can invest up to $5,500 a year into your personal Individual Retirement Fund, which can be opened through many of the same institutions that you may have your 401 K with. Placing money into your IRA along with your 401 K can exponentially increase the amount you save for later in life.

7. You should look into your social security benefits

Part of your fixed income when you retire will likely come from social security. The social security website has a tool which will allow you to estimate what your benefits will be when you retire. This is a useful number to have as you plan for your future.

8. You can ask your employer to start a plan for you

If your employer does not currently offer a retirement plan, the option is always on the table that you can ask them to start one. Many small business owners are unaware of the benefits available to them if they offer a 401 K to their employees.