Smiley El-Abd and Karen Engstrom

It's not always easy to see how you'll reach your retirement goals. Saving up enough money to last you 30 years or more is a daunting task, and volatile markets such as we've seen in 2015 don't make it feel any easier. But you don't have to be an investing expert or market clairvoyant to make it happen. The key is to get a handful of big things right: How you save, how you deal with risk, and how you spend down the money after you call it a career. Here are five real-world examples.