41 Best Retirement Statistics & Facts for 2021
The Latest and Most Important Retirement Facts Are All Right Here!
Here are the latest 2021 retirement statistics and facts, supported by credible sources.
There’s so much retirement information online, but some of it is inaccurate, poorly researched, or just plain out-of-date. We’ve searched to find the latest and most accurate data so that you don’t have to!
If you’re working hard to plan the secure retirement you deserve, or you’re a current retiree looking for information about other retirees, you now have the most important information, all in one place.
Below you’ll find statistics on the number of retirees and their average retirement age, retirement savings, pensions and 401(k)s, Social Security, and other interesting retirement facts.
The statistical data and behavioral facts help provide a composite picture of retirees. Whether you’re a journalist, aspiring retiree, or simply interested in learning about retirement realities, the information below is sure to be useful.
Check back often as we continually update this page as new credible data are published.
Statistics on the Number of Retirees and Their Retirement Age
- U.S. Census data show there are 47.8 million U.S. citizens age 65 and older, representing 14.9 percent of the total population. Their average annual income is $38,515, and average net worth is $170,516, but 8.8 percent have incomes that are at the poverty level.
- According to Gallup’s research, those currently employed project, on average, they’ll retire at age 66.
- This number is misaligned with reality however, as the current average retirement age is 63, and the average retirement lasts about 18 years.
- But 63 is closer to 61, which is the retirement age future retirees believe is ideal.
Retirement Savings Statistics
- Americans who are age 55-64 have only saved 12 percent of what they need to fund a secure retirement.
- The number one financial worry of people of working age, at 64 percent, is that they won’t have enough saved.
- There is a wide range of what the ‘experts’ say is required to fund a secure retirement. At the high end is Suze Orman, who suggests a minimum of $5 million is required to retire early, and says that 70 is the youngest one should consider retiring.
- Most financial advisers suggest either a certain percent of income during working years, or a range of $1-$1.5MM.
- The average couple retiring today will have to cover $295,000 in post retirement healthcare costs.
- The average retiree spends $4,300 out-of-pocket annually for health care expenses.
- And they spend an average of $46,000 per year on living expenses.
Pension & 401(k) Statistics
- Only 10 percent of private industry companies offer their employees a pension plan.
- The 401(k) was created in 1978 by Congress, with the Revenue Act.
- The average 401(k) participant saves 7 percent of their pay, and their average account balance is $106,478. And workers over age 50 are eligible to contribute $6,500 more per year as a ‘catch up’ contribution.
Social Security Statistics
- 57 percent of current Social Security recipients filed for benefits before 65, with age 62 the most popular with 34 percent of recipients filing at that age.
- While each case needs to be evaluated thoroughly, research shows 65 may be the best age to start collecting Social Security.
- The average Social Security retirement benefit payment is $1,503 per month, while the possible maximum monthly benefit is currently $3,011.
- For nearly half of retirees, Social Security represents 50 percent or more of their annual income. For about 25 percent, it represents 90 percent of their income.
- Social Security is fully funded until only 2035, and then benefits may drop due to funding shortfalls. This could lead to a reduction in benefits of 21%.
- Of even greater concern the Medicare trust fund (Medicare Part A), which pays hospital expenses, is projected to run out of full funding in 2026.
Other Interesting Retirement Facts
- The overall best three states for retirees are Utah, Idaho, and New Hampshire, while the worst are Maryland, New Mexico, and New York.
- Of the senior population, only 3.1 percent live in nursing homes.
- While only 3 percent of seniors cite death as their greatest fear, 13 percent said moving into a nursing home is their number one fear.
- One survey of people 50+ showed that 76 percent want to remain in their current residence as long as possible.
- Middle class households near retirement age have about as much in equity in their home as they have saved in their retirement accounts.
- Nearly 70 percent of future retirees expect to work for income past retirement age, but in reality on 26 percent actually do.
- Roughly half of retirees die with less than $10,000 remaining in their retirement accounts.
- Over 35 percent of retirees aged 65 to 74 are still paying on mortgages.
The Retirement Statistics Don’t Tell the Real Stories
While the above captures key retirement statistics, what the data don’t show are the unique stories of each retiree. How did they get there? What motivated them? Do they have regrets? What failures did they overcome? What would they change if they had a do-over?
Here at Retirement Is All On You we are committed to telling the truth about how to create the secure retirement you deserve, and what to do avoid retirement disaster. To learn from one fateful retirement journey, check out this Retirement Disaster Story.
And come back often to check out our latest articles for real world tips and tools for planning a successful retirement.