We have for the past 70 years or so had a social system in America of the highest virtue while pretending that it was of the lowest. The correct kind of retirement plan is not to tear down your barns and build bigger ones; it is to take care of the orphans, widows, and elderly. In an ideal society, we would forget about our own retirement and just make sure that we cared for those who actually need it now. Although we have been pretending that Social Security and Medicare were about saving up for our own future, they really work by having those who are young now take care of those who are old and in need now.
It is difficult to use our surplus now to care for those in need now because we are afraid that when we are in need later, no one will be around to provide for us. We cannot trust the future people to be as generous as we are, or, rather, we fear that they will be as selfish as we are.