If you are wise you will do both invest in SS and in retirement options. During the 1929 crash My grand father had money in every bank in Chicago . He knew some loss was inevitable so he didn't keep all his eggs in one basket . We do it with stock piling food and other needs that eventually the price will go up on , it has paid off for me so many times i've lost count. The dollar will always deteriorate it's a fact of life . Things you can store that need special care are one thing but hard goods that are valued need storage as well . When I go the the hard where store and need screws I get several boxes in varying sizes ,it saves a trip which is money and wear and tear against my vehicles, not to mention the price of gas. Using a credit card that only a minimum payment against a product bought on sale is no bargain ,it's a loss reverse bargain and the bank wins big time on these kind of sales . Life is not fair and dreaming of living a long time is most peoples pipe dream . The way I figure it , my kids will have all that I have put away for their own survival so nothing goes to waste. Though they may not appreciate it now ,if they are doing fine, the day will come ,if they have been prudent , that it will become of great value . As for SS A surviving spouse should be able to collect .