Retirement planning is extremely important if you want to be able to enjoy your golden years to the fullest. It is logical to assume that the majority of people understand this and make intelligent advanced preparations, but in fact a very large percentage of people are totally unprepared for retirement.
There was a poll conducted recently by the Associated Press in conjunction with LifeGoesStrong.com that was intended to get a feel for how prepared baby boomers are for retirement. It found that the average retirement savings of individuals who responded to the poll had was $40,000. Clearly, this is not going to do a whole lot to enable travel and leisure time over the entirety of your retirement, let alone enough to cover long-term care costs.
Approximately one-fourth of the people polled had no retirement savings at all. Over 60% of the respondents stated that they expected Social Security to represent the cornerstone of their retirement income. According to the Social Security Administration about a third of recipients say that Social Security comprises at least 90% of their income.
Statistics change all the time as people come and go from the Social Security rolls, but at present the Associated Press tells us that the average monthly Social Security payout is $1082. Clearly, over-reliance on Social Security will leave you in a tenuous position when you are a senior citizen.
Social Security recipients did receive a bit of good news recently when it was announced that there will be a cost-of-living adjustment in 2012. This adjustment will add 3.6% to the monthly benefit of seniors. Given the average annual benefit of around $13,000 this will result in an average increase of about $39 a month. This is hardly a life changing sum, but any increase is better than none at all.