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The One-Legged Retirement Stool

Financial planners often refer to a three-legged stool of retirement: Social Security, private pensions and savings. “While it’s a nice metaphor…it turns out that it only applies to about a quarter of the population,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist James Poterba told the American Economic Association at its recent annual meeting. The latest government surveys of Americans 65 years old and older found that those in the bottom quarter of the income distribution (average income: $6,756) get about 85% of their income from Social Security. The rest is from wages, pensions, savings and welfare...Read More


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