401(k)s are one of the most popular types of retirement accounts, but despite their widespread usage, people still make a lot of mistakes with them. You may not realize you're making some of them and others may not seem like a big deal at the time, but this is your life savings you're talking about. It's not something you can afford to take chances with. You owe it to yourself to avoid the following five mistakes.

Your 401(k) is an opportunity to invest your savings so that it grows more quickly. The greater your investment earnings, which depend on your rate of return and how long the money has been in your account, the less of your own funds you have to contribute to retirement. Ignoring your 401(k), even if it's only for a few months, makes your job harder because now there's less time between you and your retirement and your investments have less time to grow.

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