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Retirement Strategy: A Fate Worse Than Death?

Apr. 03, 2018 8:58 AM ETCINF, CL, DOV, EMR, HRL, JNJ, KO, LOW, MMM, PG, T, ABM, AWR, CWT, FMCB, FRT, LANC, NORD, NWN, SJW, SWK, TR, VVC656 Comments
Regarded Solutions profile picture
Regarded Solutions


  • While I am trying to have some laughs in this article, the truth is that living ONLY on Social Security and/or out-living your savings is no fun.
  • Far too many folks are playing with fire by not being financially prepared.
  • Consider dividend growth investing to avoid a few "nasty" options.

What if we live beyond our means, never plan for our later years, and have absolutely nothing but social security benefits to live on? Well to be rather blunt, we would more than likely not have a great "golden years" period. Yes, there are many people who simply do not care and whatever happens, happens. The good news here is that if you are reading this, you already have a better shot at a financially sound retirement. Now, please drag some folks you know over to Seeking Alpha to read some of my simple little articles!

What Might Happen If We Rely Solely On Social Security Benefits?

The average benefit from social security is about $1,300/month for an individual and for a couple is roughly $2,200/month. Since I have already shown what the average couple spends annually during retirement, the difference could be around $30k per year! If you have nothing else, then your simplest option is to reduce your expenses to less than your income. If you think that is an easy task in this scenario, then you are living in a fantasy world. This article gives us an idea of just how common this situation actually is:

Nine out of 10 Americans 65 and older receive Social Security benefits, and it's often their primary source of income. Social Security was at least 50 percent of income for 52 percent of beneficiary couples and 74 percent of single beneficiaries, and at least 90 percent of income for 22 percent of couples and 45 percent of singles.

This Forbes article paints an even more dire scenario for the future:

...most Baby Boomers will be down to subsistence living by the time they are 80-living on Social Security and other government benefits with help from any capable children.

I would love

^SPX data by YCharts

KO data by YCharts

This article was written by

Regarded Solutions profile picture
We mourn the loss of Alan Saltzman aka Regarded Solutions who lost his long battle with a terminal illness and departed on April 6th, 2021. Alan was a veteran contributor who started his journey with Seeking Alpha in 2011. He published more than 1000 articles and built a strong readership base of close to 80,000 followers. His contributions and expert guidance on retirement strategy will be immensely missed by Seeking Alpha and its readers._______________________________________________________________________My life's journey through retirement in my later years. and my suggestions going forward! Keep it Simple, Smart, and Safe!Stage 4 cancer.....2 years ago I couldn't focus...I stopped writing etc.....went on chemo, had to make stuff easy for my wife.....got out of all equities and now have fixed income and private family investments.Thanks for your support RS

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long CINF CL DOV EMR HRL JNJ KO LOW MMM PG T ABM AWR CWT FMCB FRT LANC NORD NWN SJW SWK TR VVC. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

The portfolio is for educational purposes only and not an actual portfolio. The long positions are based on the model portfolios.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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