According to some current research surprising numbers of people are not prepared to retire. There was a poll conducted recently by the Associated Press in partnership with LifeGoesStrong.com that found approximately 25% of baby boomers nearing retirement have little or no retirement savings. A similar percentage said that they would never be able to retire due to financial need. The majority of people who responded stated that Social Security would represent the cornerstone of their retirement income.
The amount of the average Social Security check is going to vary on an ongoing basis because of the fact that people are coming and going from the rolls every day. According to the Associated Press the average monthly benefit is $1082. Clearly, this is not going to be sufficient to finance a comfortable retirement. So if you are under the impression that Social Security will be enough, you may want to research the matter further and evaluate your anticipated financial need.
Social Security benefits are supposed to rise in accordance with the cost of living under certain preset parameters. Inflation had not been sufficient to warrant any increases over the last two years, but the Social Security Administration has announced that there will be a 3.6% COLA for 2012. That's good news for Social Security recipients, right? Perhaps, but this increase equates to all of $39 per month for the average senior citizen who receives Social Security. Any extra money is always welcome, but a little under $10 a week is not going to do a whole lot to change anyone's circumstances.
The best way to proceed given the limitations of Social Security may be to take control of your own financial well-being. If you have not already designed your retirement planning now may be a good time to arrange for a consultation with an experienced retirement planning attorney.