As you embark on the journey to make your retirement dreams a reality, keep in mind that retirement income can come from many different sources, including the following:
- Part-time Work – Many people chose to work at least part-time in retirement to bring in extra income and to keep their minds and bodies in good shape, as previously mentioned.
- Social Security – This is a major source of income for most retirees. The amount you receive is based on your lifetime earnings and your age at the time you begin collecting benefits. If you never worked, but your spouse did, you may be entitled to a spousal benefit. The future of Social Security is uncertain because people are living longer than expected, and the ratio of workers to retirees has dramatically diminished since its inception in 1935. For more info, go to www.ssa.gov.
- Pensions – Although not as prevalent as they used to be, some people are still lucky enough to receive guaranteed retirement income for the rest of their lives in the form of employer pensions. Pensions can be offered by a private company, local government body, or the federal government, and are generally dependent on the employer’s ability to continue paying the promised benefits. Some government employees who are entitled to a pension cannot collect Social Security benefits.
- Retirement Savings Accounts – Many people save for retirement during their working years through tax-favored retirement accounts. Some examples of these are 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and IRAs. The rest of the pages in this section give a more in-depth explanation of a variety of tax-favored retirement accounts.
- Annuities – These are unique types of retirement accounts that provide guarantees by insurance companies and tax benefits by the IRS, as long as they are held until retirement age (typically age 59-1/2).
- Other Savings and Investments – Of course retirement income does not necessarily need to come from sources that were originally designated solely for retirement purposes. Any asset can provide retirement income. These may include investment real estate holdings, business ventures, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, permanent life insurance policies, CDs, and even savings accounts.