Most people find it easier to max out their retirement contributions by budgeting a set amount each month. Instruct your employer to withhold $1,375 per month for your 401(k) or 403(b) plan to ensure that you hit the max of $16,500 in 2009. Are you self-employed? If so, you can sock away up to $49,000 in year 2009 into a SEP, Keogh or Solo 401(k), which equals $4,083 per month. And if you'll be 50 or older by December 31st, the limit jumps to $22,000 for 401(k) and 403(b) salary deferrals, and $54,500 for Solo 401 (k)'s.
REMEMBER: Most people today are not PLANNNING for their retirement! Get busy.