I plan to fund my retirement by answering questions on the internet. Just kidding!
Medicare and Social Security will be around for a good long time, if we're willing to educate ourselves about them and fight for them. When GW Bush attempted to privatize Social Security, a lot of people who hadn't previously known anything about the program started doing their homework, and they--or perhaps I should say we--found ourselves disagreeing with privatization and looking into other options.
Now, variations of privatization plans are back on the table with Romney-Ryan, but it seems like with the '08 crash close in our national rear view mirror, Americans are even more reticent to gamble social safety net entitlements in the private market. I hope that as we get further away from that and the market continues to rebound, Americans don't lose sight of the risks involved.
Still, Social Security isn't enough. It hasn't quite kept pace with inflation (in other words, you can buy less with it than you could decades ago), and it is far behind our expectations for quality of life. While the internet or cell phones, for example, were unthinkable future luxury technology when our parents started working, they will be necessities (along with other as-yet-uninvented technology, probably!) for our children.
Let's not forget that Social Security payments were originally designed to work in concert with pensions, and that the combination of lower union membership, fewer companies offering pensions, and more workers changing jobs and careers means that fewer Americans can depend on having a pension upon retirement.
I've socked away little bits of money at a time, and still have the CD I opened back in high school when interest rates were still high. I opened my account with 5% interest--now it's impossible to find one that high. I have, however, left that CD alone to grow indefinitely, and at the very least, it's kept up with inflation. Most other investments are tied to real estate. If I keep up with savings and investments, and do things to reduce the cost of living in retirement--like downsizing to a small, efficient home, I hope to be in good shape.