Many people are not relying on Social Security alone to satisfy their financial needs after retirement and for sound basis. Here are four major reasons why you too should consider other sources of income in addition to a Social Security check after you turn in your timesheet at work for the last time.
Social Security is Not Secure
While it is true that some creditors consider government income as stable, there are technically no guarantees as to whether or not you will get paid every month.
Social Security benefits are solely funded by taxpayer dollars even though you paid into the program during employment years. The monies that you contributed were actually to support others who retired while you were working. Your funds now come directly from individuals presently laboring in corporate America. At anytime the government can opt to discontinue the Social Security program, and there would be no backup funds to make payroll for those presently reliant on the system for income.
Ending Social Security altogether may seem like a far-fetched idea, but the concept may not be far away from fruition. Congress along with several presidents have expressed the need to renovate the Social Security sector of government as its policies and practices are outdated. No government official, however, has determined an appropriate course of action that does not involve doing away with the program altogether. You may find yourself in a serious financial dilemma if you rely on Social Security alone and the plan is discontinued.
You Will Lose Buying Power
The Social Security Administration tries to combat the possibility of senior citizens losing buying power by comparing Social Security benefits against the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). Such index typically allows for an increase in wages due to inflation. The CPI-W scheme does not, however, meet the needs of seniors.
Mature adults do not carry the same buying practices as young and middle-aged clerical workers. Seniors often pay through the nose to fill prescription requests due to pharmaceutical prices greatly outpacing inflation trends. The better idea would be to compare Social Security benefits against the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E). Unfortunately, though, the Social Security Administration has not determined it best to change its practices concerning this matter, which leads to the need for seniors to be frugal.
You Cannot Live the Lavish Life with Social Security benefits
Social Security benefits are based on how much workers paid into the system when they were working. You can expect to receive a modest paycheck, which will most likely represent a significant decrease in lifestyle – especially if you carry debt with you into retirement. Prepare to clip coupons and forego certain luxuries if you plan to rely on Social Security benefits alone. You certainly will not be able to buy that yacht with government checks.
You Can Have More Money by Saving on Your Own
The median income in the United States is just under $55,000 annually. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans typically set aside about five percent of their paycheck’s every two weeks for the purpose of savings. In order to retire well, you should aim for closer to 15%, and invest mostly in good growth stock mutual funds. If you have a knack for real estate investing and are willing to put in some work, rental properties are also a very strong investment option. It is usually worth your while to keep your long-term investments in a Roth IRA or Roth 401k to avoid expensive taxation on your growth. With the combined power of tax-free growth, long time horizons, and aggressive saving, Americans in almost every income bracket can retire with more than $1 million in the bank.
Some senior citizens choose to depend on their government to provide payment for the years that they contributed to the workforce by funding Social Security benefits. You should count yourself among the others who count Social Security checks as one of many sources of income.
Rachael Murphey is an entrepreneur and writer on topics relating to business, personal finance, personal growth, and emergency preparedness. She currently lives in Denver, CO with her dog Charlie.