Money Talks News: Can You Live on Social Security

After working for 40+ years, it's reasonable to expect a comfortable retirement.

But are you going to have that comfortable retirement?

Combine today's low rates on savings, meager Social Security payouts and high cost of living, and you're going to find that for millions of Americans, retirement's going to be really tough.

And I can use myself as an example. Let's start by taking a look at my Social Security.

By creating an account at the Social Security website, I can see my estimated retirement benefit when I turn 66. The number? $2,283 a month: Will it be enough to live on?

Here's my home. As you can see, it's OK, but it's certainly not a mansion. And yet, even with no mortgage, It's going to cost me $1400 a month just for the property taxes, the insurance and the utilities.

Unlike many in my dad's generation, I don't have a pension. Instead, just a 401K. Will that make up the shortfall?

Well, if I have $500,000 saved, and earn 2 percent on it, that will add $833 a month in interest.

So now my income is $3,100: $2,300 from Social Security and $800 in interest. After my housing costs of $1,400, however, that only leaves me $1,700 a month for everything else. Not much gold for my golden years.

So here's a wake-up call. If you're like me and many in our generation, you're not going to get the pension our parents did. Many in mine won't.

So you're going to have to see what you can expect from Social Security, beef up your savings and most of all, do some research. I've got specific tips to help max your social security and increase your savings.

Just go to and do a search for "retirement."

For Money Talks News, I'm Stacy Johnson.