Americans planning for retirement today have many concerns that previous generations did not have to consider. This country has gradually moved out of a tradition where most employers offered a pension plan. In effect, this has put a burden on individuals who must now fund their retirement savings largely on their own. This is just one concern that has created an unusual state of retirement in the United States.
Social Security Funding
Perhaps the biggest strain on retirement in the United States is the Social Security system. Ironically, the institution that was designed to help retirees maintain a viable income is the very same defunct system that has taxed the nation. The Social Security system has been running at an increasing deficit for several decades and has not reached the point where there is significantly less coming in than what is being paid out each month. America is quickly reaching the point where retirees are going to be primarily responsible for fully funding their own retirement.
Extending Retirement Age
One way to combat the lack of security within the Social Security income (SSI) is to work a few extra years. Thankfully, the advent of modern science and technology has improved the overall quality of life. Americans are on a healthier track and have an interest in eating well and adopting regular exercise plans. As healthy adults, Americans can delay retirement and continue working full time. Each year that SSI benefits are not taken can result in a slight increase in the monthly income when benefits begin. Many workers have opted to take this route and ensure they are receiving a monthly stipend from the US government.
Supplementing Retirement Income
Retirees are able to supplement their income in a few different ways. As previously mentioned, the SSI benefit provides a monthly income for retirees of a certain age. Personal retirement savings, such as qualified employer-sponsored plans and IRAs, are other common ways that people plan for their retirement. Other investment options such as stock trading and income bonds may provide additional funds for special projects. Some retirees supplement their income during retirement through part-time employment opportunities. They may work in a retail environment or pick up freelance opportunities doing what they love and making a little extra income for their golden years.