The matter of retirement planning is often times ignored by people because they think that they already have a retirement plan in place. They expect to receive Social Security benefits, and they will qualify for Medicare so they think that they’re all set. Anything additional that they may happen to have saved is just gravy as they say.
In truth, this is wishful thinking at best. When you look at the facts you see that Social Security and Medicare will provide a basic safety net. Most people want more out of retirement.
Many are surprised to hear that the average Social Security payout at the end of 2012 was just $1262. Even if you are qualified for somewhat more than this average benefit, income in this range is not going to provide a very robust quality of life.
Medicare is another thing that is often misunderstood when people are thinking about retirement. Yes, Medicare will pick up the tab for some health care costs. However, there are reasonably significant out-of-pocket expenses that must be met by individual recipients.
These include the Medicare Part B premiums that are deducted from your Social Security direct deposit. For most Americans the monthly premium in 2013 is just under $105 per month. That may not sound like a huge amount of money, but when you are deducting it from a relatively small monthly check it definitely takes its toll.
There are also deductibles that Medicare recipients must pay out-of-pocket for hospital stays, and co-payments for longer stays.
The key is to plan ahead for retirement with full cognizance of the limitations of these programs for seniors. If you stick your head in the sand and hope for the best your golden years may feel more like tin.