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30 Shocking Retirement Stats

by Darko Jacimovic

In this text, we’ll list some of the most important retirement stats. Where does their importance come from?

Now:

The importance of saving for retirement is often neglected. This is why we are able to witness an increase in workers who are over the retirement age, as they need to supplement their income. In recent years, this issue has become more pronounced, as we went through multiple small financial crises and a major one.

Those who don’t want to be working while well in their 70s should pay attention to the 30 statistics listed below:

Top 10 Retirement Stats and Facts

  • 22% of Americans have less than $5,000 in retirement savings.
  • A third of Americans have no retirement savings.
  • On average, millennials have $31,000 saved for retirement.
  • Those aged 32-37 have $31,644 saved on average.
  • Those aged 44-49 have $81,349 saved on average.
  • Delaware has the highest average retirement savings, at $286,277.
  • Wyoming has the lowest average retirement savings, at $153,182.
  • 50% of American households won’t be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement.
  • 78% of Americans who are saving for retirement use a 401(k) plan.
  • 53% of Americans who won’t retire at 65 will keep working by choice.

Retirement Saving Statistics

Retirement Stats - photo

1. 22% of Americans have less than $5,000 in retirement savings.

(CNBC)

Studying the retirement statistics for 2019, we found that more than a fifth of American workers have put under $5,000 in their retirement savings. It is estimated that 5% of workers in the US have saved $5,000 to $24,999, while just 16% have saved $200,000 or over. The fact that 46% of those surveyed have no idea whether or how much they have saved for retirement is worrying, to say the least.

2. 33% of Americans have no retirement savings.

(medalerthelp)

Even though this piece of retirement stats seems more worrying than the previous one, it should be kept in mind that it includes all workers in the US, including those who are 20 or younger and have plenty of time to save for retirement.

3. 48% of Americans start their retirement savings after the age of 36.

(medalerthelp)

Almost half of the US labor force starts saving for retirement after they turn 36, which puts them at a significant disadvantage compared to those who started saving in their 20s.

4. Millennials have $31,000 saved for retirement on average.

(the balance)

Retirement savings statistics show that millennials are the most proactive generation when it comes to retirement plan contributions. The majority are keeping up with the recommended savings of one year’s salary in retirement funds by the age of 30.

5. Those aged 32-37 have $31,644 saved for retirement on average.

(the balance)

American workers in their 30s are not so good at keeping up with the recommended retirement contributions; they are typically at less than half of the recommended $67,000, retirement saving statistics point out. Those between the ages of 38 and 43 have $67,270 saved for retirement on average.

6. Those aged 44-49 have $81,349 saved for retirement on average.

(the balance)

With a median income of $67,000, American workers in their mid to late 40s manage to save over $80,000 on average. For those interested in how much those closer to retirement have saved, we’ve dedicated an entire section to baby boomers retiring stats.

Average Retirement Savings by State

Retirement Stats - money

7. Delaware has the highest average retirement savings, at $286,277.

(Financial Samurai)

The tax benefits Delaware offers really shine through; this is the state with the highest average retirement savings in the country. The fact that there’s no state income tax, untaxed Social Security benefits, no personal property tax, and many more benefits have contributed to this status.

8. The average retirement savings in Alaska are at $271,919.

(Financial Samurai)

When it comes to the average retirement income by state, Alaska is near the top of the list of US states, ranking fourth. Again, low taxes are to thank for this; Alaska has no state and local taxes on retirement income. This applies to both public and private pension income.

9. The average retirement savings in Virginia are at $240,199.

(Financial Samurai, smart asset)

Even though the state is just a thousand dollars short of entering the top 10 US states by average retirement savings list, Virginia is still considered one of the more pensioner-friendly states. Retirement statistics and retirement income figures for this state are aided by no local taxes and the low state tax (under 1% for pre-tax income of $40,000).

10. The average retirement savings in California are at $227,290.

(Financial Samurai, smart asset)

California ranks 20th on the list of US states by retirement savings. The Golden State also has no local retirement income taxes, while its state tax stays below the 1% mark. However, the state fully taxes withdrawals from retirement accounts, as well as both the public and private pension incomes. According to retirement income statistics, it is not considered a pensioner-friendly state.

11. The average retirement savings in New York are at $207,889.

(Financial Samurai, smart asset)

NYS retirement savings place the Empire State in the bottom half of the list. The state of New York holds the 34th spot on the list of states by average retirement savings. Its retirees are moderately taxed, with reasonable state tax, and no local one. However, retirement facts for 2019 list the partial taxing on retirement account withdrawals and private pension income as this state’s drawbacks.

12. The average retirement savings in Wyoming are at $153,182.

(Financial Samurai, smart asset)

Wyoming holds the shameful last place on the list of US states by average retirement savings, despite sharing some features with the states on the opposite end of the list. Wyoming has no Social Security income tax, no taxes on public and private pension income, and no taxes on retirement account withdrawals, and it is considered to be very tax-friendly for retirees.

Retirement Income Statistics

Retirement Stats - thinking

13. The average retiree household has a yearly income of $48,000.

(USA Today)

Older American households with a retiree head have an average income of $48,000. They typically spend $46,000 per year. When all US households are taken into account, the average incomes is $74,000, while the yearly expenses add up to $57,000.

14. Social Security is the biggest source of income for 61% of the retired.

(USA Today)

Statistics on retirement find that Social Security is contributing close to half of the average pensioner’s yearly budget. In 2018, more than $1 trillion in benefits were provided. In 2019, the monthly stipend is at $1,461 per retired worker.

15. 50% of American households won’t be able to maintain their standard of living in retirement.

(GoodLife)

It is estimated that half of US workers will not be able to keep the same standard of living once they retire due to the lack of financial support. This doesn’t only mean that they’ll be unable to travel and buy cars and expensive things, but also that they could struggle with affording necessities such as food, average retirement savings by age and income indicate.

16. Households aged 65-69 have an average retirement income of $79,772.

(United States Census Bureau, GoodLife)

After retiring, those between the ages of 65 and 69 can expect to bring in under $80,000 per year per household. The median retirement income for this age group is $54,129.

17. Households aged 70-74 have an average retirement income of $68,052.

(United States Census Bureau, GoodLife)

Statistics on retirement savings in America show that average retirement income drops significantly with age; those between the ages of 70 and 74 can expect to at least $10,000 less than those 5-10 years younger. The median retirement income also drops significantly with age; for this age group, it is at $46,797.

18. Households aged 75 and over have an average retirement income of $49,614.

(United States Census Bureau, GoodLife)

Elderly households in America are struggling to survive. With a median retirement income of $31,893, it’s no wonder that more and more US workers are deciding to keep working in their late 70s.

Baby Boomers Retiring Stats

Retirement Stats - grandparents

19. Around 10,000 baby boomers retire every day.

(Investopedia, USA Today)

It is estimated that there are around 73 million baby boomers in the US (not all of them in the workforce). With 10,000 members of this age group retiring every day, we need to address the question of how many of them are able to enjoy their retirement in comfort needs. 

Spoiler alert: 

Fewer than you think.

20. Those aged 56-51 have $163,577 saved for retirement on average.

(the balance)

As they approach the typical retirement age (65), baby boomers typically save 16.35% of the $1,000,000 that experts recommend as the retirement goal. This is the number one issue on the list of baby boomers retirement problems, and it might be the reason why so many of them plan to continue working over the age of 65 (more on this later in the text).

21. 17% of baby boomers have saved under $5,000 for retirement.

(CNBC)

A large portion of the generation might not be able to retire, baby boomer retirement facts show. This generation is between the ages of 55 and 73, and a massive chunk of them have less than $5,000 in retirement savings, which will not get them far if they decide to stop working.

22. 45% of baby boomers have no retirement savings.

(Investopedia)

90% of those who retire are eligible for Social Security benefits. In 1962, that number was at 69%. Even with the $1,461 that Social Security brings every month, a large part of the baby boomer population won’t be able to retire, as they have no funds dedicated to retirement.

23. 68% of baby boomers plan to retire after the age of 65.

(Northwestern Mutual)

Retirement statistics show that 47% of Americans believe they’ll be working after the age of 65 out of necessity. For baby boomers, 20% of whom have less than $5,000 in personal savings, this percentage is far greater. 

24. A third of baby boomers plan on working part-time after the age of 65.

(USA Today)

Around 33% of middle-aged Americans plan to work part-time after they reach the retirement age. Their health, education levels, and experience enable them to do so, while their retirement savings prevent them from fully retiring.

19. Around 10,000 baby boomers retire every day.

(Investopedia, USA Today)

It is estimated that there are around 73 million baby boomers in the US (not all of them in the workforce). With 10,000 members of this age group retiring every day, we need to address the question of how many of them are able to enjoy their retirement in comfort needs. 

Spoiler alert: 

Fewer than you think.

20. Those aged 56-51 have $163,577 saved for retirement on average.

(the balance)

As they approach the typical retirement age (65), baby boomers typically save 16.35% of the $1,000,000 that experts recommend as the retirement goal. This is the number one issue on the list of baby boomers retirement problems, and it might be the reason why so many of them plan to continue working over the age of 65 (more on this later in the text).

21. 17% of baby boomers have saved under $5,000 for retirement.

(CNBC)

A large portion of the generation might not be able to retire, baby boomer retirement facts show. This generation is between the ages of 55 and 73, and a massive chunk of them have less than $5,000 in retirement savings, which will not get them far if they decide to stop working.

22. 45% of baby boomers have no retirement savings.

(Investopedia)

90% of those who retire are eligible for Social Security benefits. In 1962, that number was at 69%. Even with the $1,461 that Social Security brings every month, a large part of the baby boomer population won’t be able to retire, as they have no funds dedicated to retirement.

23. 68% of baby boomers plan to retire after the age of 65.

(Northwestern Mutual)

Retirement statistics show that 47% of Americans believe they’ll be working after the age of 65 out of necessity. For baby boomers, 20% of whom have less than $5,000 in personal savings, this percentage is far greater. 

24. A third of baby boomers plan on working part-time after the age of 65.

(USA Today)

Around 33% of middle-aged Americans plan to work part-time after they reach the retirement age. Their health, education levels, and experience (labor statistics show that 91% of companies choose people with experience) enable them to do so, while their retirement savings prevent them from fully retiring. This makes it quite difficult for people like us to compile these retirement stats. 🙂

Interesting Retirement Facts

Retirement Stats - people

25. 78% of Americans use a 401(k) plan to save for retirement.

(medalerthelp)

401(k) is, undoubtedly, the most popular retirement saving method in the US. The average account of an American worker in their forties has $103,500 in it. This popularity stems from the contribution matching what some employers offer. 

26. There were $8.8 trillion in various IRAs in 2018.

(Statista)

IRAs, or individual retirement accounts, are another popular retirement saving vessel. These accounts offer tax deductions based on the contributions made during the year. According to 2018 retirement statistics, Americans had $8.8 trillion in traditional, Roth, SEP, and SIMPLE IRAs.

27. The total value of the US federal government retirement funds exceeds $4 trillion.

(Statista)

The total financial assets available in federal government retirement funds added up to just over $3 trillion in 2010, retirement facts from the previous decade stress. Less than a decade later, there’s a trillion more available to those who are retiring. However, the pension system in the US is still commonly described as in an acute state of crisis.

28. 53% of Americans who won’t retire at 65 will keep working by choice.

(Northwestern Mutual)

Retirement facts and statistics derived from the 10th annual research study by Northwestern Mutual found that more than half of American workers who plan to work past the age of 65 will do so by choice. 58% of those who declared they’ll work after the typical retirement age say they will do so because they enjoy their job, 46% because they want additional income, and 39% plan on not retiring in order to avoid being bored and becoming inactive.

29. 45% of Americans believe they’ll have enough in retirement funds.

(CNBC)

Even though average retirement savings statistics show that 41% of them are not contributing a cent to their retirement savings, 45% of Americans believe that, when the time to retire comes, they’ll have enough money saved to last them until they die.

30. The US has a retirement index of 6.6 in 2019.

(Statista)

Using a basic scale of 1 to 10, a country’s retirement index is based on a number of factors (income, savings, etc.). The US had a retirement index of 5.57 in 2012, which has increased to 6.6 in 2019 – not an insignificant rise.

Conclusion

The stats listed above are here to remind you of one of the most easily forgotten important things: saving for retirement.

The thing is:

Getting into the habit of putting aside a certain portion of your pay for this purpose is best done early. Those who start saving in their 20s will certainly have much fewer issues with retirement funds once they reach the age of 65 than those who start saving in their 40s. The former might even think about retiring early, while the latter might be forced to work in their 70s, which is no walk in the park.

FAQ

1. What is the average retirement account balance?

(synchrony)

The average retirement account balance depends on multiple factors, with the two most important being income and age. Depending on these factors, Americans have anywhere between $16,000 and $172,000. There are, of course, individuals who are far below or far above this spectrum, with some having no savings at all, and some with retirement savings that are measured in millions of dollars.

2. What percentage of Americans have enough for retirement?

(Bloomberg)

The estimates for Americans who have no retirement savings are in the range of 33-50%, once again, depending on the age. 41% of US households led by a person between the ages of 35 and 64 are likely to run out of funds in retirement. This means that, currently, less than 60% of those who are saving for retirement will have a sufficient amount saved by the time they retire.

3. How much does the average 40-year-old have saved for retirement?

(the balance, synchrony)

Those in their 40s are considered to be in their peak earning years. This is the time when big promotions and pay raises come, and the time when a larger chunk of the pay should be dedicated to retirement savings. Typically, US workers in their 40s have $63,000 saved for retirement. Those in their mid to late 40s have $81,349 saved on average. People in their 40s should have 3-4 times their annual salary already saved for retirement.

4. How much money does the average 55-year-old have saved for retirement?

(the balance, synchrony)

People in their 50s have $117,000 stored in their retirement savings accounts and plans, averages show. As they exceed the age of 55, the average increases: those between the ages of 56 and 61 typically have $163,577 saved for retirement. Workers who are 55 are typically somewhere between these two numbers. People in their 50s should have 6-7 times their annual salary already saved for retirement.

5. What does the average 60-year-old have saved for retirement?

(the balance, synchrony)

The average 60-year-old has $172,000 saved for retirement. This is not even close to the million that is taken as the average amount of money needed to live in comfort (not in luxury, mind you). 60-year-olds are just steps away from retirement, and they are suggested to have 8-10 times their annual salary saved for retirement. 

6. How much does the average 65-year-old have saved for retirement?

(the balance, synchrony)

The average 65-year-old retires with a similar amount listed in the previous answer. The sum can range from 0 to millions of dollars, depending on their retirement fund contributions.  

7. How many boomers are retiring in 2019?

(Forbes)

Baby boomers started retiring back in 2011, as the oldest of the generation started turning 65. Rough estimates show that 10,000 baby boomers retire every day. In a month, around 280,000 of them leave work for the last time to enjoy retirement. As the generation keeps aging, these numbers are expected to rapidly increase, and perhaps even double in 2020.

8. How much is the average pension in the US?

(USA Today, Pension Rights Center)

The average American household led by a retiree has a yearly income of $48,000. Data shows that half of that income comes from Social Security. Private pensions have a yearly median of $9,645, while federal government ones have a median of $28,868. Military pensions have a median of $21,441 and veterans’ benefits amount to $13,751 per year according to the latest retirement stats.

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