Starting with “the basics” is always a good idea. An easy to read and understand section on the Social Security Administration website has many topics for search options. Start at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/ and select a link that most interests you. Choose from “Benefits Calculator” or “Near Retirement?” or “Eligibility Issues” and more.
Thinking that Social Security is all that is needed for retirement may be short sighted. On the Social Security website is a statement that is important to remember:
“Your Social Security benefits are the foundation on which you can build a secure retirement. Savings and pensions also are key components of your retirement plan. Most financial advisors say you’ll need about 70 percent of your pre-retirement earnings to comfortably maintain your pre-retirement standard of living. They recommend that you prepare for the future with a combination of Social Security, private pensions and personal savings.”
One way to find out if your post retirement budget can be managed on your pension and social security incomes is to actually live on your estimated pension and social security incomes prior to retiring. Carve out three months of the year and plan your budget with only what you estimate will be your social security and pension incomes when you retire. You may be surprised at how much may be needed from your savings to stay within your budget. (p.s. any money left over from your current income during this three month exercise can be put into a savings account.)
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