That something is that you have not started saving for retirement. Is all lost? Well, pretty darn close.
Here is an example calculation from CNNMoney. Note that to get close to a goal of 85% income replacement, including Social Security, the person would have to save 25% of income each year for the next thirty years. (I maintain you need 100% income replacement and the ability to continue saving to retire with your pre-retirement standard of living.)
The message is clear, if you have not started aggressively saving for the future, give up something you don’t need and start saving and investing wisely … or you are screwed and will be saying things like this person living on Social Security as a recent commenter did:
its bad enuf that the amt received is truly not enuf to live on..esp if u have to, due to financial issues, file early..i feel that just because a person files early..that once they do turn 65 or 66 ..whatever it is now..that their benefits be increased to what they would have received if they did wait..i think what the rule is now..is unfair..this needs to be changed.. there are alot of older people struggling out there