Retirement is something we all strive for. Many would say that it’s the light at the end of the tunnel of one’s career. Saving money and making plans will ensure your retirement to be your golden age. 

However, retirement statistics show that a great number of Americans don’t have a retirement plan or savings, and many are learning about retirement from friends and coworkers.

Don’t leave your financial future in the hands of fate, your friends, or your family. Take a look at these retirement stats and prepare for the most blissful period of your life.

Let’s dive right in.

Fascinating Retirement Facts and Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • On average, Americans retire at 66 and live until 79.
  • Only 40% of Americans have spent time working on their retirement plan.
  • Close to 50% of all workers are forced into early retirement.
  • Investing $15,000 a year will grow your nest egg to $741,344.
  • By your 60s you should have 8x your salary in savings.
  • The percentage of seniors who declare bankruptcy has grown to 7%.
  • According to the income in retirement statistics, millions of people get 90% or more of their retirement income from Social Security.
  • Every day, about 10,000 Baby Boomers go into retirement.

General Statistics on Retirement

If your retirement years are coming close or you just want to be prepared in time, this list of statistics and facts is here to help you prepare. We’ll also answer some of the most frequently asked questions about retirement.

1. On average, Americans retire at 66 and live until 79.

However, many Americans have much longer retirements, and many die young. A 65-year-old woman has a 50% chance to live to the age of 85, and a man of the same age has a 50% chance to live to the age of 82.

2. Only 40% of Americans have spent time working on their retirement plan.

As the latest retirement statistics show, less than half of the US population has given their retirement plan some thought. Planning funds for your golden age takes time. But many people spend more time planning their week-long vacation instead.

3. Nowadays, only 17% of companies offer pension plans.

In comparison, the percentage of companies that offered pension plans in 1983 was 62%. Instead of a pension plan, most companies today, some 71% as stats on retirement report, offer 401(k) plans. These force the employee to learn new skills and become their own financial planner, economic forecaster, and stock picker.

4. Just 50% of Americans have a retirement plan.

In the past, people used to spend their whole careers working for only one company. That would secure them a pension once they went into retirement. Nowadays, though, employees should have a defined contribution plan, like 401(k), that will replace the pension.

5. Retirement statistics report that almost 60% of US adults have sleeping problems because they worry about their retirement.

More than half of the US adult population literally lose sleep over retirement. However, more alarming are the other 40% who don’t worry about retirement and simply ignore their future.

6. Close to half of all workers were forced into early retirement.

People generally tend to assume that if they don’t have enough money to retire, they can just continue working. Unfortunately, early retirement facts state that 47% of workers were forced to retire due to layoffs, various illnesses, or the need to take care of sick parents or spouses.

7. More than 30% of homeowners who are close to retirement still pay for mortgage.

In just 10 years, from 2001 to 2011, the number of homeowners of retirement age who still pay mortgage rose from 22% to 30%. In addition to this, retirement facts state that the percentage of homeowners who are 75 years old and still pay for mortgage rose from 8.4% to 21.2% in the same period of time.

8. Approximately 20% of all workers say they’ll never be able to retire.

Moreover, close to 19% of people aged 65 and older are still working both part-time and full-time, even though they have reached Social Security eligibility. According to the retirement facts from 2019, they are forced to work because they haven’t saved enough to retire.

9. Millennials have an average debt of $30,580.

Since the average household income is $55,200, it’s almost impossible for them to pay off their debts, live a normal life, and save 15% of a monthly salary towards their retirement. Having debt of any kind makes it much more difficult to plan your future.

10. According to the LIMRA retirement statistics, 50% of Americans retire between the ages of 61 and 65.

As the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute statistics reveal, Americans retire too early, which leaves them with a small retirement income. Over two-thirds of  US adults retire by the age of 66, half of them retire between the ages of 61 and 65, and 18% retire even earlier. This means that by the age of 75, 89% of the US adults have left the workforce.

Retirement Saving Statistics

11. Half of the US adults aged 35-44 have saved less than $25,000 for retirement.

Worryingly, people are not aware of how unprepared for retirement they actually are. Only 40% of the same age group has saved about $250,000 or more, but that is enough money for 20 to 30 years of retirement. These statistics are not good. Luckily, though, this age group still have time to come up with a better plan for the future.

12. As retirement statistics from 2019 reveal, only 25% of Americans are familiar with the Saver’s Credit.

Only a quarter of qualified US adults (those who have a household income of less than $50,000 a year) are aware of this program, which is available for low- and moderate-income workers who are saving for their retirement. 

Here’s the deal:

The Saver’s Credit lowers the taxpayer’s federal income tax. It can be applied to the first $2,000, or $4,000 if married and filing jointly, or voluntary contributions a person makes to their retirement plan.

13. Retirement facts state that 56% of the overall workers don’t know how much money they will need for retirement.

It’s not just that over half of US adults don’t have a retirement plan. What’s worse is that they don’t know how much they will need to retire, either. The first step towards making a plan for a comfortable future is paying off any debt you have and not buying unnecessary things.

14. Only 1 in every 10 US adults is saving 15% or more of their monthly income for retirement, according to the American retirement savings statistics.

This situation is alarming for many reasons. The great majority of US adults are clearly saving less than what the experts recommend. Additionally, most Americans are saving even less than 10% of their monthly income.

15. Investing $15,000 a year can grow your nest egg to $741,344.

With some discipline and a little sacrifice, anyone can save enough to enjoy their retirement for a long time. Statistics on retirement savings in America reveal that investing in stock could help you save up a neat sum of money. By investing $15,000 per year at a growth rate of 8%, you could save up close to three-quarters of a million dollars in 20 years.

16. Close to 35% of women and 15% of men have $0 in their retirement savings.

In general, women make less money than men. 

Some retirement trivia: 

A great number of females are stay-at-home moms without a 401(k). However, this is not an excuse not to think about the future. There are many options for saving; and friends, family, and professionals can offer valuable advice on this topic.

17. 60% of retirees don’t include entertainment and activities in their retirement budget.

Every good retirement plan should include entertainment expenses, as retirement savings statistics claim. Experts also say that everyone should budget in more leisure activities.

18. The average 401(k) plan balance reached $106,000 in the Q2 2019.

This means that some Americans are finally becoming aware of their retirement savings situation and trying to save more money for their old days. The average 401(k) plan balance has seen a 2% increase in just one year. Moreover, the average retirement savings by age and income is $11,800 for people aged 20-29, $42,400 for people aged 30-39, $102,700 for 40-49 age group, $174,100 for 50-59 age group, and $195,500 for people aged 60-69.

19. With average retirement expenses of $1,844,556, Hawaii is the most expensive state for retirees.

California is right behind with $1,456,286, and New York follows with $1,408,121. Next, retirement in Alaska and Oregon costs $1,341,805 and $1,335,752 respectively, according to the average retirement savings by state statistics. On the contrary, Arkansas and Oklahoma are among the least expensive states, with $728,010 and $723,859 average retirement expenses. The least expensive is Mississippi, where retirees would need $617,661 on average for a comfortable life.

20. Experts claim that by your 60s you should have 8x your salary in savings.

It sounds like much, but it can be achieved easily if you start saving early on. Some recommended retirement savings by age claim that you should start in your 20s, and save one half times your current salary by the time you are in your 30s. 

At this pace, you will have 2 times your current salary in savings, by the time you are in your 40, and at 55 you will have 7 times your current salary. With this plan, you should have 10 times your current salary by the time you turn 67, according to the retirement saving statistics.

21. Approximately 3.5 billion adults around the world are financially illiterate.

The majority of adults don't understand basic financial concepts. A survey that included questions on financial concepts like risk diversification, inflation, numeracy, and compound interest, revealed that only 33% of the participants could answer at least three questions correctly.

22. According to the average retirement savings statistics, 60% of employees feel stressed when it comes to their financial situation.

The high levels of financial illiteracy could explain this, as well as some other situations. 

For example: 

These statistics can also explain why 62% of millennials want to consult or work with a financial advisor. They need an expert who will walk them through and thoroughly explain every step of planning for retirement and securing their financial future.

Retirement Income Statistics

23. The average Social Security yearly income was $17,532 in 2019.

This means that retirees got $1,461 per month on average, which is simply not enough for a living. Professionals and financial advisors recommend replacing 80% of the regular income once a person gets to the retirement point. Individual retirement account (IRA) and 401(k) are good tools for saving money for retirement.

24. According to the income in retirement statistics, millions of people get 90% or more of their retirement income from Social Security.

In general, retirees claim that Social Security provides one-third of the retirement income. Approximately 21% of married older couples get 90% or more of their retirement income from Social Security, whereas 45% of single older people are in the same situation.

25. Income inequality is making it impossible to retire for 80% of Americans.

Retirement income statistics reveal that one-quarter of Americans earn less than $10 per hour, which means they are below the poverty line. The average CEO pay today is a mind-blowing 208 times higher than the regular pay, and the situation has been the same for years.

26. The percentage of seniors who declare bankruptcy has grown to 7%.

In comparison, the percentage of people 65 and older who filed for bankruptcy in 1991 was only 2.1%. In 2007 this grew to 7% and has been steady since. However, the scariest part is that the elderly have very limited options for earning money. As the retirement stats have shown, not having a job or some other source of income makes it hard to open credit cards, secure transportation, or rent a home.

27. There is a $16,728 Social Security bonus that the majority of retirees don’t know about.

A great number of Americans are a few years behind with their retirement savings. However, there are some tips and tricks or “Social Security secrets” that can help retirees get a $16,000 yearly boost, according to the retirement facts from 2018. One of those secrets is that retirees can get their pension and still work and earn as much as they want, as long as that amount doesn’t impact their tax liability.

28. In 2019, the average retirement income for a household aged 55-59 was $73,645.

Calculating the average retirement income is complicated because the best income data doesn’t include the info on whether someone is officially retired. Moreover, the lowest average retirement income by age is $31,893, for households aged 75 and more. 

However, a simple and reliable retirement calculator may actually provide you with the right info about your current savings and if they will be enough to last you throughout your retirement.

29. For every $10,000 invested, fees will get $125 out of your retirement fund.

Various ATM fees, installation fees, cancellation fees, and convenience fees will get a part of your retirement savings. Over time, these fees can amount to much greater sums.

Baby Boomers Retirement Statistics

30. Every day, about 10,000 Baby Boomers go into retirement.

The generation born between 1946 and 1964 is collectively going into retirement. The decline of the stock market between 2008 and 2009, lack of preparation, on and off employment, and many other factors have impacted this generation’s retirement savings.

31. About 76% believe they haven’t saved enough for their retirement, Baby Boomers retirement statistics reveal.

According to the Baby Boomers retiring stats, three-quarters of them have serious doubts about their financial future. Out of that figure, 67% say they wish they had started saving for their retirement earlier, and 68% say they wish they had saved more money.

32. Over 50% of Baby Boomers are convinced their retirement income will come from Social Security.

As some of the latest Baby Boomers retiring statistics reveal, more than half of that generation believe their whole or most of their retirement income will come from Social Security. We have already mentioned that Social Security retirement income was just a little more than $16,000 per year, which makes it very difficult to live on.

33. Close to 75% of surveyed Baby Boomers believe they will have a secure retirement.

However, one survey that gave the Boomers a retirement quiz has proven them wrong. More than 87% of the generation got a D on the quiz, even though 61% believed they knew everything they needed to know about retirement.

34. Around 40% of Baby Boomers are still paying off their credit card debt.

Pre-retirement debt is one of the biggest Baby Boomers retirement problems. Carrying any kind of debt can seriously hurt one’s retirement savings. Besides making it hard to save, there is also the risk of taking that debt into retirement, which can further compromise the fixed monthly income.

35. Approximately 30% of Baby Boomers have nothing saved for their retirement.

Americans’ average retirement savings are generally quite low, and the Baby Boomer retirement savings are no exception. Statistics also show that 41% of workers plan to continue working past the age of 65 and try to save more money for retirement.

36. The average 401(k) balance for Baby Boomers is $177,805.

If we apply the commonly used “4% rule” for retirement savings, Baby Boomers’ average yearly retirement income could be about $7,112. According to the Baby Boomer retirement facts, this is simply not enough, even when combined with the Social Security income.

37. Less than half of Baby Boomers are comfortable with their savings.

Research shows that only 48% of Boomers feel comfortable with what they have saved for their retirement. Furthermore, only 20% are doing better or are ahead with their savings, while 13% feel they are behind, and 5% feel completely lost and confused.

Healthcare and Retirement Stats

38. In 2017, the average cost of one bedroom assisted living was $45,000.

Additionally, the average duration of time spent in the assisted living facility was 28 months, costing up to $100,000. With just over $16,000 per year, an average retiree could not afford to be taken care of in their final years.

39. Close to 70% of retirees will need long-term help at some point in their life.

Unfortunately, as the 2018 retirement statistics report, Medicare will not cover those needs. The average cost of living in an assisted living facility grew to $4,000 a month in 2018, and Medicare pays for only 100 days of care at a skilled nursing facility, provided that the person has previously spent at least three days in a hospital.

40. On average, retirees spend $122,000 on medical expenses from their own pockets.

According to the Baby Boomer retirement statistics, between the time they’re 70 and the time they die, retirees spend more than $120,000 on healthcare, except for low-income people who are covered by Medicaid. Some people over 70 have even higher costs.

41. Single retired women spend on average $15,000 more on healthcare than single retired men.

Research shows that single retired women spend on average $150,000 on healthcare, while single male retirees need $135,000 for medical costs. This means that a couple would need $280,000 if they’re eligible for Medicare.

The Bottom Line

We hope these retirement statistics will help you understand better why planning and saving for your retirement is so important. Making your final years comfortable and carefree can be straightforward to plan if you start on time.
Key takeaway:
It’s never too late to start planning and being proactive about your future. It’s important to have a place where your grandchildren can visit you, but it’s also crucial to plan the financial and health aspects of your retirement. You can seek professional help for planning your retirement or ask retired friends and family for advice.