Savings accounts, Social Security, pensions, investments: Will they provide enough income for retirement?

August 24, 2010

By Barbara Marquand | Money Rates Columnist

Seventy-five years after the Social Security program was launched, more than half of baby boomers who haven't retired yet plan to rely on Social Security for part of their retirement income, according to a recent report commissioned by the Insured Retirement Institute.

Surprising? Maybe not. Worrying? Certainly.

Many fear the wave of retiring baby boomers in coming decades could cripple the system.

"This is a clear indication that financial professionals, elected officials and the media all need to better educate consumers to look outside of Social Security to meet their guaranteed retirement income needs," Insured Retirement Institute President and CEO Cathy Weatherford said in a press statement.

Given the hits sustained by stock portfolios during the recession and the low returns on money market accounts, CDs and other low-risk investments, baby boomers are understandably worried about how they'll make ends meet once they stop working.

Do you know how much you should save?

Six out of 10 working baby boomers surveyed said they were concerned about outliving their savings and investments, and seven out of 10 said they were "afraid" they weren't saving enough.

Meanwhile, almost 80 percent of boomers within five years of retiring said they'd try to live on income alone, such as Social Security, pensions and interest paid on accounts like money market or savings accounts, according to the institute's report. More than half of boomers who are more than five years out from retiring say they're not sure how much they need to save for retirement.

The report is based on a survey of 4,100 households, 1,500 of which reported annual incomes of at least $100,000 or assets of $500,000 or more, not counting the value of their primary homes.

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