Why Plan For Retirement?
Before we begin discussing how to plan a successful retirement, we need to understand why we need to take our retirement into our own hands in the first place. This may seem like a trivial question, but you might be surprised to learn that the key components of retirement planning run contrary to popular belief about the best way to save for the future. Further, proper implementation of those key components is essential in guaranteeing a financially secure retirement. This involves looking at each possible source of retirement income.
Uncertainty of Social Security and Pension Benefits First off, we need to be up front about the prospects of government-sponsored retirement - they're not very good. As we all know, the developed world's populations are continuing to age, with fewer and fewer working-age people remaining to contribute to social security systems.
Defined-benefit pension plans
Defined-benefit pension plans, which are supposed to guarantee participants a specified monthly pension for the duration of their retirement years, actually do fail every now and again, sometimes requiring increased contributions from plan sponsors, benefit reductions, or both, in order to keep operating. (For more on this topic, check out The Demise Of The Defined-Benefit Plan.)