Social Security can be considered as one piece of a healthy retirement plan, but it is not likely to sustain a standard of living for most Americans. The AARP estimated
that Americans wanting to maintain their standard of living in retirement will need to save an amount equal to roughly 20 times their annual income. That is above what Social Security provides.
According to the IRS, the average Social Security
check for retirees is about $1,200 a month. The IRS suggested many people will need to be able to draw 80 percent of their annual income to be comfortable at retirement. With retirement often lasting 30 years or longer, it may be wise to set up an alternative retirement plan.
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The U.S. Social Security Administration pays benefits monthly. Benefits can be applied for online at www.socialsecurity.gov. The day of the month is determined generally by the day on which you were born. Taxes – if applicable – will have to be paid on the money like regular income.
While it is possible to choose to retire outside of the United States and still receive Social Security benefits, there are some places the government won’t send a check. Those countries are Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. There are some exceptions for most of these countries.
Those who have reached full retirement age may work while receiving Social Security benefits
. There are limits on earnings for those who have not reached the full retirement age of 66 for people born before 1954 and gradually increasing to 67 for people born in 1960 and later.
For people who want to supplement their retirement plans it is important to get started saving as soon as possible. A New York Times report said
that about 75 percent of Americans had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts as they approached retirement age. Nearly half of middle class workers will be living in poverty at retirement, the article estimated.
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