Financial Security and the Four-Legged Stool

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It's never too late to start saving for your retirement.

Financial security in retirement can be viewed as a four-legged stool. The four legs include Savings and Investments, Work, Social Security, and Pensions. That stool is sturdiest (and we sit most securely on it) when all four legs hold us up.

Take one leg away and it becomes a bit weaker; still, we won't fall. Take away another leg and we have to rebalance the others or else topple over. Cut that stool down to one leg and we have a weak foundation for resting during retirement.

The fewer legs your stool has, the more difficult your financial future will be. The stool you sit on in retirement entirely depends on the efforts you put forth today to build it.

A stool with four legs allows the best opportunity to live out the retirement you want, but isn't a possibility for many women—mainly as the days are gone when pensions were offered to employees upon retirement. Most people don't have pensions, and only ten percent of boomer-age workers can expect income from pensions. While the four-legged stool is ideal, it's not what the majority of women will have to retire on.

Click here to read more about planning for retirement in the digital edition of West Michigan Woman Magazine.


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