Social Security won't be around like it was for previous generations. What are Americans who have yet to retire doing about? Yahoo! News asked readers to share their strategies. Here's one.
FIRST PERSON | I'm in big trouble. I've known it for years now, but I'm hoping for a miracle. Right now, I think I'll have to work until I drop because I won't be able to live on what I'll get from Social Security and the little I've managed to save.
In March, I will turn 60. I'm divorced and teach English as a foreign language in Malta. Four years ago, I left the United States (and two grown daughters behind) because I couldn't afford to pay both my rent and health insurance. I lost my job, then had to pay health insurance premiums that, at the time, were more than $900 a month.
In Malta, I earn Euros -- but the wages here are minuscule compared to that in the States. But I can pay the rent, and I do get affordable national health insurance to which I contribute -- just like Social Security in America.
But here's the problem: If I remain living abroad, I will probably continue to lose about 30 cents on each U.S. dollar when I transfer money from the United States to Malta.
I went online to the Social Security site to calculate my projected pension. If I retire based on my own earnings, it will only be about $600 because I only worked part-time after my daughters were born -- even though I've contributed to Social Security since I was 22. If I remain divorced, however, I may be able to collect about $1,000 per month (minus Medicare), based on half of my ex-husband's earning record. (If you're a divorced woman, collecting on your ex-spouse's earning record may be higher than your own and does not affect the ex-spouse's own pension. It's a reason to stay single.)
I have a good financial advisor in the United States, but he can only do so much, given the economy's poor performance. I put $500 a month in a Roth IRA and may have -- if lucky -- $100,000 (which is nothing these days) by the time I reach 70.
I figure I won't be able to retire until I'm older than 70, although I will need to start collecting at age 65. I've written a book about leaving the States. I hope it'll become a best-seller. It's my one hope for financial survival.
- Politics & Government
- Retirement Issues
- Social Security