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Layin’ It on the Line: Social Security alone may not be enough to retire on

By Lyle Boss - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Sep 20, 2023

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Lyle Boss

As you approach your golden years, you might think, “I’ve got my Social Security and my 401(k); I’m set for retirement.” But did you know relying solely on these financial streams could leave you in hot water? Let’s unpack this critical issue to ensure that you’re comfortable in your retirement years and leave a lasting legacy for your loved ones.

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket

Think back to the 2008 market crash. People who had banked on their 401(k) plans as their only retirement safety net saw as much as 38% of their hard-earned savings disappear almost overnight. To protect against such calamities, consider diversifying your retirement income. Products that offer guaranteed lifetime income can be a lifesaver, quite literally. This ensures you and your spouse have a reliable income stream that you can’t outlive, no matter what the market does.

Planning for more than just yourself

It’s not only about having enough for yourself. Under current laws, Social Security will exhaust its trust funds by 2034, and then benefits will be cut by 23%, according to the 2022 Social Security Trustees report. Therefore, relying solely on it isn’t wise if you aim to leave some wealth for your family and loved ones. Having a multifaceted financial plan can make a significant difference in what you leave behind.

Missing plan, missing peace

In our book, “The Safe Money Guide,” I dive deep into strategies for creating a resilient retirement plan that incorporates guaranteed lifetime income, protection against market volatility and hedges against inflation. Many think having retirement savings and counting on Social Security qualifies as a “plan.” In reality, a robust plan addresses contingencies like running out of money or how Social Security shortfalls could impact your overall financial health.

The longevity factor

Some might think, “I probably won’t live long enough to worry about all this.” But as life expectancy continues to rise, you could be leaving your spouse and loved ones in a precarious financial position if you haven’t planned adequately. Understanding all your options can offer both you and your family a safety net that lasts a lifetime.

Safe investments and lifestyle planning

The good news is that it’s never too late to revise or even create your retirement plan. Look for safe money investments that align with your risk tolerance and future income needs. Factor in potential interruptions like health issues, something most advisors conveniently leave out of the picture. Doing so allows you to enjoy life on your terms after years of hard work.

A personal investment in your financial safety

In my line of work, ensuring your financial security is deeply personal. I’ve seen firsthand the devastation poor financial advice can bring. Friends of mine lost their life savings to smooth-talking brokers who steered them into inappropriate investments that offered more volatility than guarantees. That experience has shaped my client-centric approach, where safeguarding your money is the top priority.

Leaning solely on Social Security and your 401(k) is a precarious strategy. Proactive planning — from diversifying income streams to considering the financial legacy you’ll leave — is vital for a comfortable, worry-free retirement. With the right information and the right plan, you can achieve both financial security and peace of mind in your golden years.

“Ready to protect your retirement and ensure a lasting legacy? Reach out to a trusted advisor today!”

  • Dangers of sole reliance: Depending solely on 401(k) and Social Security can be risky, especially recalling the 2008 market crash.
  • Diversify your income: Consider options that offer guaranteed lifetime income to protect against market uncertainties.
  • Plan for longevity: With increasing life expectancies, ensure your retirement funds can cater to longer lives.
  • Legacy matters: Consider future generations in your financial planning to leave behind a safety net for loved ones.
  • Seek safe investments: Identify and invest in avenues that align with your risk tolerance and future income needs.
  • Embrace proactive planning: Secure a comfortable, worry-free retirement by planning beyond the conventional financial advice.

Lyle Boss, a native Utahn, is a member of Syndicated Columnists, a national organization committed to a fully transparent approach to money management. Boss Financial, 955 Chambers St., Suite 250, Ogden, UT 84403. Telephone: 801-475-9400.


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