When you are considering the future it is important to face all of the facts head on. If you have your head in the sand with regard to retirement you may never be able to retire, because it takes planning for most people to have the resources that they need to stop working to earn a paycheck.
There are those who think that Social Security will pay for their living expenses and that Medicare will handle all of their medical expenses. This misconception can lead you in the wrong direction because the average monthly Social Security benefit in 2010 was under $1,100. And, Medicare does not cover all of your health care costs and it does not pay for long-term care should you need living assistance at some point in time.
Some people choose to prepare for retirement by entering military service. Veterans are entitled to a lifelong pension after they have served for at least twenty years in the armed forces. So it is possible to put in these twenty years when you are fresh out of high school or college and retire from the service with a pension when you are perhaps just around forty years old.
You can then embark on a new career as a civilian and save and invest the pension income over the next couple of decades plus until you become eligible to receive your Social Security benefit. One could also take advantage of the 401(k) plan at work and have a nice retirement account as well.
Veterans also may be eligible for the Veterans Aid and Attendance special pension. This benefit is intended to help veterans who need assistance with their day-today-living needs. You must have served for at least 90 days with a minimum of one of the days taking place during wartime to qualify.