It’s Your Money Column – Take Advantage of Save for Your Future Month

This is national Save For Your Future month, a good time to carefully consider the state of your retirement funds.

A 2003 Retirement Confidence Survey sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, American Savings Education Council and Mathew Greenwald & Associates revealed that 61 percent of workers have not calculated how much money they will need to save for a comfortable retirement.

Americans should not mistakenly believe that Social Security alone will provide a secure financial future. Social Security was never intended to be the sole source of income for retirement years. Financial planners say that a person needs between 70 percent and 80 percent of his or her pre-retirement income to live comfortably in retirement, but Social Security replaces only about 40 percent of pre-retirement incomes. Americans will need additional savings through pensions and personal savings.

A valuable planning tool received in the mail every year by more than 137 million Americans is the personalized Social Security Statement. This statement is mailed to workers age 25 and older about three months prior to the worker’s birthday. It provides an estimate of what they could receive from Social Security when they retire.

The Save For Your Future campaign recommends that every American take four simple steps when they receive their Social Security Statement each year.

  • Step One is to calculate how much money you need for retirement and other personal and family needs.
  • Step Two is to plan how to accumulate money and other assets to help you meet your needs.
  • Step Three is to act to implement your plan and save the money that you (and your family) need.
  • Step Four is to reassess your financial needs and the progress of your plan every year during the three-month period between the time you receive your Social Security Statement and your birthday. If your needs have changed or your plan is not working, readjust one or both of them.

A Save For Your Future Web site at provides a variety of calculators and resources to educate and motivate Americans to calculate, plan, act and reassess their situation and reach their financial goals.

The national Save For Your Future month is jointly sponsored by the American Savings Education Council and the U.S. Social Security Administration in partnership with State Farm Insurance Companies.