This is something I think younger people should ?know and understand about their future. I have posted this on a lot of sites ?that I visit. Hope I can make sense of this for you. I just finished with my financial planner and I have about $353000 in retirement monies. 2 words for this *dog shit*. I am middle aged and if this were the only source of my retirement income I would be hurting. Some background. ??At one time most retirement plans were *defined benefit* programs. ?This usually meant you worked for a pre set number of years and in the end you got a certain monthly pay based on a set *benefit*. In SoCal, a lot of the aircraft manufacturers offered this to their workers. So if you worked 30 years you may have received 80% of your base pay in retirement, no matter what the investment climate had been prior. ?The beauty was that your retirement future was predictable. You knew what you were getting. Today most retirement plans are *defined contribution* plans. IRAs, SEP/IRAs, Simple plans, 401Ks all fall into this type. You put in a certain amount (it can vary year to year, and your employer may match), thus defined CONTRIBUTION. The big deal with these though is there is no promise at all of how much will be there when you retire. Your money is at the vagaries of the investment climate of the times. For example, if you need $50000 a year to retire comfortably, you will likely need $1,200,000 in your 401K invested at a safe 4%. Once retired you cant risk this money, it needs to be safe hence the low risk low reward of a Tbill rate. Building up $1.2 Million can be very tough. I think but do not know that many companies have abandoned their defined benefit plans and now offer only defined contribution plans. I think they have even taken bankruptcies to release themselves from their pension responsibilities. Not fair but that is the reality. Unless you work for a growing company, Intel, Apple, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, that offers big time stock options, counting on your 401k to solve your retirement needs is no certainty. If you are 35 today and dont have $75K-100K in funds TODAY, your odds of having enough in retirement are not that good. What concerns me is I have dutifully made the maximum contributions every year and still dont have enough built up. Luckily I have invested in investment grade commercial real estate for years so I am set for life at a very high income but thats an option open to very few nowadays with the cost of good property insanely high. There are some opportunities in residential real estate but thats hard fucking work. I would be interested to hear from anyone as to what you may or may not be doing to insure you have an ass kicking golden years. BTW fucking forget about Social Security being of any retirement use if you are under 40 or even 45. SSI is a joke, a gigantic Ponzi scheme. As an aside, I know of very few people on track for a decent retirement nest egg so if you aren't you are in the majority.