That leaves us with Social Security. In 2018, the average Social Security check was $1,422 a month or $17,064 a year.
So let's add up what our yearly payments are:
- Personal savings $3,000
- Pension $9,376
- Social Security $17,064
It's certainly possible to live on $29,000 a year, particularly if you own your home, have low expenses, and live in a relatively low-cost part of the country.
But it is hardly a robust retirement.
And remember: these are the lucky ones. A 2018 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of Saint Louis found that only 27 percent of households have a defined benefit plan (a pension), while only 33 percent have a defined contribution plan (usually a 401(k)).
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Other forms of personal savings don't add much: the same study found that of households that do not have a company sponsored pension or 401(k)-type plan, only 20 percent have an IRA or Keogh account.
Most young Americans are no longer getting pensions of any kind, so there is an even greater onus on them to save more.
After looking at the data, the Saint Louis Fed concluded: "It could be worrisome that, for many American households, the total balances of their retirement accounts may not be sufficient to ensure a solid life in retirement."