Is Retirement a Right or a Privilege?

Should everyone get to retire or just those who save?


Does everyone who puts in their 35 years in the workforce deserve to retire? Or should only those who save (and manage to invest successfully) have a period of leisure at the end of their life?

Most workers in the U.S. are entitled to Social Security benefits. The government program is the major source of income for 52 percent of aged couples and 72 percent of single beneficiaries, according to the Social Security Administration. The average check amount was 1,156.80 in March 2009 for singles and spouses generally got another $570.10. Benefits max out at $2,323 monthly in 2009.

If you don’t have a traditional pension that pays out benefits for life, any amount you need above that amount will have to be financed yourself. If a married couple decides they need $30,000 a year to live comfortably in retirement and receive the average Social Security amount, they will need to come up with another $9,000 annually from another source or cut their expenses down to their roughly $20,700 due . Typically the extra income comes from a part-time job or savings and investments. [See 10 Sources of Retirement Income.]

Another traditional retirement model increasing in popularity is living with relatives after you leave the workforce in order to cut costs for both parties. Grandparents can help care for young children while they are healthy and receive care later in life if they should need it. [See Baby Boomers Moving In With Adult Children.]

Tell us, does every worker deserve to retire, or only those who plan and save or can rely on family?