Dear Liz: Is it reasonable for a 50-year-old single man helping with support of a teenage child and earning a steady $35,000 a year to save for his retirement? Rent alone takes $800 a month; food, car and health costs leave little discretionary money.
Answer: Can you reasonably expect to live on Social Security alone? If making ends meet now is a strain, imagine trying to get by on about $1,230 a month (which was the average Social Security check in 2012). Your check could be higher or lower; you can get an estimate at http://www.ssa.gov/estimator.
If you can’t scrape by with whatever Social Security offers, then you need to find a way to save. You should be able to increase your savings once your child support ends, but you should get started now.