Getting to the bank to cash them was the biggest challenge.
Those days are gone. Even if they have money saved and can count on income from other sources, one of the biggest challenges for today's retirees is setting up their accounts in ways that will provide dependable streams of retirement income.
We devised a case study of a typical couple and shared it with three financial planners, asking them for ideas about how to best manage their resources.
We wanted to see how the experts would structure the couple's finances so they would get the most out of what they have.
3 advisers help typical couple
Harry and Mary Typical
Harry is 61 and earns $75,000 per year. He has $200,000 in his 401(k) plan. His wife Mary is 58 and earns $36,000 per year. She has saved $60,000 in her retirement account at work.
Here's what they will get from Social Security, according to the calculator on the Social Security website:
Social Security benefits
|62 and 1 month||$1,359||$854|
Harry used to work for a company that gave him a conventional pension, and he expects to get $750 per month from that; when he dies, Mary will receive about half of that -- $350.
They inherited $100,000 from Harry's mother when she died earlier this year.
Harry would like to work until he is 66, at full retirement age. Mary thinks she wants to quit at 62, but she's willing to work longer if she must.
Mary and Harry own their own house free and clear. They could possibly sell it for $175,000, but they don't want to. They see themselves living there for the duration.
Harry is considering taking a part-time job after retirement that pays minimum wage and provides him with free golf.
Read on to see what our advisers say about how the Typicals should manage their retirement income.