Published Tuesday, December 17, 2013 at: 7:00 AM EST
If you’re in your 20s, 30s, or even 40s, here’s a warning: Don’t count on Social Security benefits to sustain you comfortably through retirement. In fact, you may be better off not relying on Social Security at all.
Consider the aging population. According to the latest data, the average age of Americans is currently 36.7, and that average is edging up 0.2 years each year. With the population growing older, and birth rates falling, the number of people receiving Social Security retirement benefits will continue to increase at a time that fewer young workers will be available to fund the system with payroll deductions.
Whatever steps are taken to address that imbalance, the reality is that future benefits could decrease—and Social Security never was intended to be anyone’s only source of retirement income. With increasing pressure on that system, saving on your own will be more important than ever. And the earlier you begin, the better off you’re likely to be.
If you have a 401(k) plan or another kind of retirement plan at work, that’s usually a good place to start, especially if your employer offers matching contributions. Contact your benefits department to get the ball rolling. You also might consider setting up a Roth IRA on your own. It’s relatively easy to establish such an account, and we can provide whatever assistance you might need.
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