Saving for retirement is a big challenge for most people. Only by using every tool at your disposal can you ensure that you'll have a financial secure retirement.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, looks at a simple retirement strategy that involves using both Social Security and your own savings to make ends meet after you retire. Dan notes that many people rely only on Social Security, but because it only pays benefits monthly, any unexpected big-ticket items can be problematic. By contrast, having regular IRA and 401(k) accounts can help you with lump-sum needs, and Roth accounts can help you avoid the tax consequences of regular retirement-account distributions. Dan concludes that the hardest part is finding extra money to save, but setting aside extra cash in a retirement account opens doors that counting solely on Social Security leaves closed.

Have general questions about Social Security? Email them to, and they might be the subject of a future video!