03/13/2012 02:56 pm ET

Day Of Retirement Reckoning

Imagine for a moment: It’s 10 o’clock on a beautiful Monday morning and you’re sitting at your kitchen table with a freshly poured cup of coffee. Today is your 62nd birthday and you’ve taken the day off from work because you have an important decision to make.

The sun is shining across the table and there before you are two papers: One is from Social Security and the other is from your 401k. Here’s the deal: Social security is offering you a lifetime monthly income, but if you accept their offer today, you’ll receive up to 30% less income each month than if you waited until your full retirement age. Will it be enough?