You may want to think twice about putting off your retirement savings. A revealing new study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute and Greenwald and Associates shows that a third of Americans have under $1000 set aside to retire on. It’s a bad move according to financial planner Jack Swanda, of Omaha PM Financial: “It’s really, really hard to get that through to people just the understanding of how necessary it is to get started, and started early. But even if you get started late, a little of something is better than nothing.”

The study elaborates that not counting their primary residence as equity or traditional benefits plans such as pensions and 401k’s, 60% of workers have less than $25,000, according to a telephone survey of 1,000 workers and 501 retirees.

Like with anything, smart planning can ease the inevitable. Workers who have done their homework on what they need to save tend to have higher levels of savings than those who haven't crunched the numbers. A good round number recommended by the study suggests that younger workers set aside 20% of their net income for the day they take home that final paycheck.