Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Three-legged Stool Now a Four-legged Chair

Once upon a time, workers were told to plan on a three-legged stool for their retirement income: Social Security, an employer-provided pension, and personal savings. Over the past two decades, the stool has morphed into a chair, with earnings becoming the fourth leg. Take a look at how the distribution of income for households headed by people aged 65-plus has changed over the past two decades...

2010 1990
Total 100.0 100.0
Earnings 31.2 18.4
Savings 11.3 24.5
Social Security 36.0 35.7
Pension 18.3 18.1

Earnings are now the second largest source of income for elderly householders. Income from savings has fallen from second place in 1990 to last place in 2010.

Source: Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Changing Sources of Income among the Aged Population

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