The “three legged stool” has long been the approach to retirement planning. But most Americans don’t even have a stool, and for some who do, the stool is becoming a bit shaky. The “three-legged stool” is considered the basic model of retirement savings. It’s a metaphor that has been used since the late-1940s as a way to describe saving for your future. No one is quite sure how the concept was started, but it’s one that stuck. While the legs of the stool were different in the past (they relied heavily on other types of retirement options), today those legs have grown and transformed into a completely different kind of stool.