The last thing you want to do is save religiously for retirement only to have your efforts undermined by unexpected medical bills, an injury that keeps you off the job or any of the other surprises life can throw your way.
To protect yourself and your family, you need to have three things in hand: life insurance, disability insurance and a savings stash equal to three months of living expenses. That way you (or your heirs) won't have to tap retirement accounts for an emergency.
A term life policy gives you the largest death benefit for the smallest premium - generally, you should get coverage equal to five to 10 times your salary. As for disability insurance, look for a policy that will pay 60% of your salary. Before you shop, though, see if you already have coverage (or the option to get it) through your job.