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Research suggests that some have saver personalities; others tend to be spendthrifts.

If the latter, how do you learn self-control and good habits? Calculating what you need for retirement and doing a budget can help.

"A key trait in successful savers is the willingness to create a plan," says NEFE president Ted Beck. (Try the tools at Mint.com for budgeting help.) And do a workaround by signing up for payroll deductions into a retirement plan and automatic shifts every month from a bank account to a mutual fund.

By Amanda Gengler @Money - Last updated April 05 2012: 6:25 AM ET
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Three out of four successful retirees started saving in their 40s and 50s. A few smart moves make that easy.

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