Cramer has advice for people in their late 50s still in the accumulation phase.
One of the best ways to accumulate savings is to max out the employer match — usually a 401(k). "It's free money," Cramer said.
He advises putting the maximum contribution into a Roth IRA if it's offered by your employer. If you’re under 50, you can put in $5,500 annually. If you're over 50, the limit is $6,500. You won't get a tax deduction with a Roth, but it will never get taxed.
"If you still have more money to invest, split it equally between a regular savings account and a regular 401(k)," he said.
If you are already retired, start looking closely at your 1040s.
"When I look at someone’s 1040, I look at what is generating their taxes: Their pension, IRA distribution, interest, capital gains, dividends, Social Security," Cramer said.
Dan Yu is the managing director of EisnerAmper Wealth Advisors LLC in New York City. He works with high-net-worth corporate executives nearing retirement or in retirement. The real nitty-gritty of his job, he says, is the question, "How do I fund, potentially, a 30-year retirement?"
Yu says people planning retirement of any length have a big responsibility.
"It’s rare to have a pension; we need to look out for ourselves," Yu said. "The volatility of the market has also been extremely challenging."
Yu advises setting aside an emergency fund of six to 12 months' worth of cash. Then you can look at ladder bonds and annuities for the future. If you stagger annuities — $50,000 in 2014, $100,000 in 2015 — at 2.25 percent interest you are sitting on $50,000.
Yu is also a fan of the Roth option. There is a mandatory distribution from 401(k)s and IRAs at age 70 1/2, and it's taxed as normal income. A Roth is non-taxable and distributed at 59 1/2. Yu advises people to invest 60 percent to 65 percent of their money in a Roth, and uses the "bucket" analogy again to explain his point. "If I have those three buckets, it’s ideal," he said. "You can name your children or your grandchildren as beneficiaries."
Ultimately, saving for retirement is an individual responsibility, and it's never too early nor too late.
"Use buckets and diversify," Yu said. "Understand your own risk profile. If you get older, dampen your volatility. Take on the onus of educating yourself — it doesn’t have to be daunting. Empower yourself, try to help yourself learn."