While Social Security is meant to supplement other streams of income in retirement, a new survey shows that most people are overestimating just how far their other savings will take them through their golden years.
The survey by Provision Living found that only 39% of Americans are expecting to need Social Security to get by month-to-month through retirement. Looking at that means that 61% of those surveyed believe their savings are good enough — but that may not be the case.
Baby boomers who took the survey expected to have around $228,000 saved by the time they enter retirement, according to Motley Fool. But the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that individuals age 65 and older spend around $46,000 a year, so that $228,000 will be drained in only five years.
The average monthly benefit check was $1,474.77 as of September 2019, according to data from the Social Security Administration, which is around $17,700 per year. So even using that Social Security check to supplement the average $46,000 in yearly expenses would stretch that $228,000 retirement fund to eight years.
The fact is that most Americans are not saving enough for retirement, and Social Security can only help so much. The benefits program was designed to replace around 40% of an individual’s income.
But the Social Security Administration has found that 50% of married couples and 70% of individuals are relying on their Social Security checks for at least half of their income in retirement. What’s worse is that 21% of married couples, and almost half (45%) of single retirees are having to scrape by using the checks for 90% of their income.
There are some ways to boost your monthly Social Security checks, like waiting to claim benefits until at least your full retirement age. If you continue to work while waiting to hit your full retirement age, you can also focus harder on increasing your nest egg, and potentially boosting your Social Security checks in the process.
It’s also a good idea to go to the Social Security website and create an account so you can see your expected benefit amount and plan around it.
The biggest thing to keep in mind is that retirement savings may not go as far as expected, and coming up with a plan as early as possible can mean less stress down the road.
• You can find all of the latest and most important news about Social Security here on Money and Markets.
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