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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.
- Why delaying Social Security can make sense Dear Liz: Your comments about the benefits of delaying Social Security misled readers. While a cost-of-living increase was standard for many years,...
- How Social Security calculates your check Dear Liz: I have been told over the years that your Social Security monthly benefit amount is computed using years closest to retirement. I have no...
- Live it up now, or insure against longevity Dear Liz: I was born in 1960 and plan to retire with reduced Social Security benefits at 62. I've read in many places that taking reduced benefits ...
- Working longer means more money overall Dear Liz: You've been answering several questions about when to start Social Security benefits. Most people who talk about the break-even point see...