October 31, 2011 — This isn’t a good news story. Obviously, no one is going to get rich, or even thrive on social security alone. After all, it was designed as as a security blanket to keep retirees from starving, a condition which many faced before FDR implemented the program in the 1930’s.
The bad news is that social security is becoming an ever more important source of income for retirees. MSN/Money reported recently in “More Rely on Social Security” that in 1962 social security represented 30% of people over 65’s income – in 2010 it had grown to 38%. Today more than 66% of retirees get 50% or more of their income from this source, and 35% rely on it for 90% of their income. Income from investments has declined in recent years, which now makes up only 11% of retiree income. Job earnings have remained consistent at 29%, while, surprisingly, pension income has increased as a portion of total income. Since the average monthly payout was a paltry $1176 in 2010, it is easy to see that there are many folks who have very little discretionary income.
Looking for a place to retire on social security alone?
US News has you covered. They just came out with a list of 10 places where you can can live on a social security income.
Note: Be sure to take our new “What is Your Social Security IQ Quiz“. It will give you a score and detailed explanations to make you a Social Security expert (our best advice, read this article first!).