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Q&A: What's the role of Social Security in funding retirement?

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While Social Security can help fund your retirement, it's likely your benefits won't be enough to cover all your bills.

Q: What factors determine how much Social Security I will get?

A: While the Quick Calculator gives you a fast answer, a lot more goes into determining how much Social Security income you could receive. Factors that influence the amount of benefits you can expect depend on:

Q: What other retirement saving options are available?

A: If you estimate your benefits, you might find that Social Security doesn't provide nearly enough income to cover your costs of living — let alone allow you to achieve some of your biggest dreams, like traveling the world or finally buying that second house up at the lake.

While Social Security may provide you with some monthly income, you'll need other sources to fund your retirement in full. Those may include:

  • Your cash savings
  • Your retirement accounts, like 401(k)s and IRAs
  • Any investments you have outside of your retirement account, which could include stocks, bonds, non-residential real estate, or another other investment vehicle that produces income
  • A pension from a previous employer
  • Other streams of income (like a part-time job if you choose to work a few hours a week, consulting or freelancing you do because you enjoy it, or even a "second act" career if you're not quite ready to call it quits just yet and want to explore other fulfilling job opportunities)

You probably won't be able to access all these potential options — but chances are good you can leverage one or two of these strategies to help pay for the retirement you want.

It's best to plan now for how you'll supplement your Social Security check in retirement. That way, you can retire without sacrificing your lifestyle.

When you're ready to partner with an experienced financial advisor to develop comprehensive, customized solutions based on your unique financial priorities, Synovus is here to help.

Social Security funding in retirement

Important Disclosure Information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. Robert Powell, "How much do you need to fund retirement? More than you think," USA Today, accessed August 9, 2018. Back
  2. Social Security Administration, "Benefits Planner: Calculators," accessed August 9, 2018. Back
  3. Social Security Administration, "Social Security Quick Calculator," accessed August 9, 2018. Back
  4. Social Security Administration, "When To Start Your Benefits," accessed August 10, 2018. Back
  5. Social Security Administration, "What Every Woman Should Know," accessed August 10, 2018. Back
  6. Kimberly Lankford, "How Much Will I Get From Social Security When I Retire?," Kiplinger, accessed August 10, 2018. Back