It is a deadly serious question. And one unfortunately few Americans think about until it is too late to really prepare for a successful retirement. (Successful retirement meaning all monetary needs during retirement are met) Read anywhere really - things likely to happen to SS: 1) NRA (Normal Retirement Age) that was lifted in 1983 from 65 to 67 will be raised again. 2) Benefit amounts will drop for future retirees..as an example people 35 and under will receive substantially less than comparable benefits today. (virtually certain) 3) SS taxes will rise. (virtually certain) 4) The long term future of SS is that it will be reduced to supplementary purposes only to pair with other savings plans. ----------------------------------- Other items... 1) People are getting married later, having children later and living longer. All of these dramatically affect the chances of successful retirement. a) Getting a home later means prolonging mortgage payments deeper into prime earning years. b) Children later in life means fewer prime earning years that can be concentrated on retirement savings. c) Obviously living longer means greater amounts of funds necessary to reduce the chances of having to live in poverty in the last years of life if you didn't or couldn't plan for it. 2) And this is a BIG one...People spending future earnings to satisfy todays desires for material items and luxuries. Because companies everywhere are getting out of the pension business, and reductions in SS benefits - people who do not plan well (or at all) for retirement will suffer terribly in their golden years. We have all seen them - people over 70 years old working part-time jobs and not out of choice, but necessity. This scenario will dramatically increase due to the fact that retirement now and perhaps forever depends on voluntary savings plans - and perhaps no modern nation on earth is as poor as Americans are at saving money for any reason. Retirement should be a golden reward to be looked forward to; but unfortunately for many Americans it will be something that is dreaded.