The regular income you can expect from Social Security and a defined benefit pension depends on your work history. In general, the longer you work and the higher your salary, the more income you can anticipate, up to the annual ceilings.
Realistically, though, neither of these sources is likely to be as important a provider of retirement income in the future as it has been in the past. Social Security faces an imbalance between what it collects and what it pays out. And fewer employers are offering defined benefit plans.
The retirement income you can expect from investments you’ve made depends on three things: how much is invested, where it’s invested, and the long-term return those investments provide. You have much greater control over these choices, so much greater responsibility for the outcome than you may realize.
That’s why it’s critical to put basic investment principles to work, including asset allocation and diversification, across your tax-deferred, Roth, and taxable portfolios. It’s also why you want to start thinking seriously about retirement income before you start thinking seriously about retiring.
When you retire, you’ll share a common experience with everyone who has already made the change: You won’t get a paycheck anymore. Unlike a paycheck, which arrives regularly, retirement income arrives on different schedules. Social Security, annuity, and pension payments usually come monthly. Others, like stock dividends, arrive quarterly. Interest on bonds is paid semi-annually. Few, if any payments, are weekly or biweekly. That means you have to think about balancing the amount coming in to meet your expenses.
Contributions from the book Guide to Understanding Annuities in this press release are used with permission from Light Bulb Press.