This article shouldn’t be news to anyone who reads Retirement Watch or my books, but it is news to The New York Times that a $1 million retirement nest egg might not be enough for most people. It lists all the mistakes people are likely to make: Investing only in bonds; underestimating life expectancy; forgetting about inflation, and not maximizing Social Security benefits. It’s a good review, and is educational for those who haven’t been exposed to my way of thinking.
“The bottom line is that people at nearly all levels of the income distribution have undersaved,” Professor Wolff said. “Social Security is going to be a major, and maybe primary, source of income for people, even for some of those close to the top.”
Professor Munnell said that in addition to relying on Social Security, which she called “absolutely crucial, even for people with $1 million,” other options include saving more, spending less, working longer and tapping home equity for living expenses. “There aren’t that many levers we can use,” she said. “We have to consider them all.”