Thankfully the government and NASBA have gotten corporations to be more accurate and to conservatively project and fund their pensions over the last decade. As a result many are now doing away with them, and in my opinion THANK GOD! Relying on some emotionless government or corporation to provide for you at your most vulnerable moment is not my idea of security.
Social Security and corporate pensions have worked for a lot of people for many decades, but times have changed. The demographics are no longer in our favor. Population growth, resources, and economic growth rate are all far to low to sustain this going into the future.
With that said, I wouldn't change this moment in time for any other. You have at your disposal many government and corporate sanctioned tools to provide for yourself and your family into the future. IRA's, 401Ks, real estate depreciation, and insurance on just about anything you can imagine.
"But this will never happen with social security, right? They can always just print more money if they need to." This is true, but does it make you feel any better that the government still pays you the same amount in say 2013 that's worth $12,000, but it's only worth $1,000 in 2020 due to inflation? Don't think that can happen to in an industrialized country? Think again! Go read, WHEN MONEY DIES about the hyperinflation that Germany experienced after WWI.
There's no such thing as a 100% bulletproof retirement. But here are 4 things to get you started:
1. Diversify your assets. (stocks/bonds/real estate/international securities)
2. Have multiple streams of income.
3. Maintain your skills while retired.
4. Geographic diversity. Don't have all your assets in one country.