50+ Essential Retirement Statistics for 2023
Three-quarters of Americans agree that the country is facing a retirement crisis, making research around the topic more relevant than ever. We dug into the data on every angle of retirement and compiled the most important statistics below. Read on to learn about what today’s retirees face, from financial challenges to lifestyle decisions and more.
- Edited By
Kim Borwick is a writer and editor who studies financial literacy and retirement annuities. She has extensive experience with editing educational content and financial topics for Annuity.org.Read More
- Financially Reviewed ByThomas J. Brock, CFA®, CPA
Thomas J. Brock, CFA®, CPA
Thomas Brock, CFA®, CPA, is a financial professional with over 20 years of experience in investments, corporate finance and accounting. He currently oversees the investment operation for a $4 billion super-regional insurance carrier.Read More
- Updated: February 3, 2023
- 10 min read time
- This page features 28 Cited Research Articles
- Financially Reviewed By
- Sixty-two is the current retirement age, and the estimated retirement age for current workers is 64.
- Women have smaller retirement savings overall, with an average $57,000 saved, compared to men’s $118,000.
- The median retirement savings for all workers is $97,000.
- Savings expectations for a comfortable retirement increased 10 percent to $1.04 million in 2021.
- Over half (55 percent) of workers plan to work in retirement.
- Thirty-six percent of older homeowners spent at least one-third of their income on housing, compared to 76 percent of older renters.
- The average retirement age in the United States is 62 for retirees, while the expected retirement age for current workers is 64. The full retirement age is 67 for those born after 1959.
- The retirement age is lowest in Alaska and West Virginia, where people retire at 61 on average.
- The retirement age is highest in South Dakota, Massachusetts and Hawaii, where people retire at 66 on average.
- The United Arab Emirates has the lowest average retirement age in the world at 49, which is both the official retirement age and the average actual retirement age for both men and women.
- Norway has the highest average retirement age in the world at 67 for both men and women.
Global Retirement Statistics
|Country||Average Retirement Age||Official Retirement Age|
|Italy||61.7||66.58 (men)/65.58 (women)|
|China||64||60 (men)/50 (women)|
|Israel||67.8||67 (men)/62 (women)|
Women and Retirement
- Women’s average total retirement savings in the U.S. is just $57,000, whereas men’s average total retirement savings is $118,000.
- The amount of women who have more than $250,000 saved (24 percent) is 45 percent less than the amount of men with the same amount (35 percent).
- Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of women have $10,000 or less saved for retirement, compared to 14 percent of men in the same savings category.
- Over half of women (52 percent) are determining the amount they believe they need saved for retirement by guessing. Just 18 percent use a calculator or worksheet, and 10 percent use a financial advisor.
- A third (33 percent) of women have no retirement strategy. Of those women who do have a retirement strategy, just 24 percent have it written down.
- More than half of women (56 percent) cite saving for retirement as a priority, compared with 62 percent of men.
- Single, senior Hispanic women are the most likely of all senior demographics to live in poverty at 32 percent.
Retirement and Race
- Only 61 percent of Hispanic Americans and 64 percent of Black Americans have some retirement savings, compared to 80 percent of white Americans.
- Just 22 percent of Hispanic Americans and 29 percent of Black Americans report that their retirement savings are on track, versus 43 percent of white Americans who report the same.
- Black seniors (18 percent) are almost three times as likely to live in poverty as white seniors (6.8 percent). Seventeen percent of Hispanic seniors and 9.3 percent of Asian seniors live below the poverty line.
- Just 34 percent of Hispanic families and 45 percent of Black families have individual or employee-sponsored retirement accounts, compared to 60 percent of white families.
- About 51 percent of Black families and 55 percent of Hispanic families middle-aged and older own their primary residence, versus 73 percent of white families.
- In addition, white families’ home values average $230,000 whereas Hispanic and Black families' home values average $200,000 and $150,000, respectively.
- According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, the median total household retirement savings across all workers is approximately $93,000.
- Forty-eight percent of workers believe they don’t make enough money to adequately save for retirement.
- Forty-three percent of workers guess how much they need to retire, rather than basing it on current expenses (38 percent) or using a retirement calculator (25 percent).
- Twenty-two percent of Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, and 15 percent have no retirement savings whatsoever.
- In a 2020 survey by TD Ameritrade, 58 percent of Americans said they would grade the adequacy of their retirement savings at a C or lower.
- Seventy percent of millennials are stressed and anxious about saving for retirement.
- A majority of millennial investors (81 percent) already have a strategy to protect themselves from outliving their savings.
- Gen Z is investing in retirement at a higher rate than millennials did at the same age. Nearly 16 percent of Gen Z participate in a 401(k) with an average balance of $4,500. Only 11.4 percent of millennials had a 401(k) with an average balance of $2,000 at the same age.
- Gen Z savers who have contributed to a defined contribution (DC) plan for five years have an average balance of over $23,900 saved.
- Forty-three percent of millennials say they are afraid of being unable to meet their family’s basic financial needs after retirement.
- Twenty-five percent of Americans increased their financial savings as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In 2021, only 56 percent of workers were enrolled in a workplace retirement plan. Seventy-two percent of workers had access to retirement benefits.
- According to Fidelity, in Q1 2020, the average defined contribution plan balance was $126,083 and the average IRA balance was $135,700.
- American savings expectations for a comfortable retirement increased to $1.04 million in 2021, a 10 percent increase from 2020.
- The number of retired workers receiving Social Security benefits was 69.8 million in 2021, up from 45.1 million in 2019.
- In 2020, 71 percent of Social Security beneficiaries were retired workers. Thirteen percent were disabled workers, 9 percent were survivors of deceased workers and 7 percent were spouses and children of retired or disabled workers.
- In 2020, the average monthly Social Security benefit for retired workers was $1,544.
- Fifty-five percent of adult SSI recipients are women.
- Among non-retirees, 73 percent are worried they won’t receive any Social Security benefits by the time they retire.
- Of retired U.S. adults, 57 percent rely on Social Security income.
Life in Retirement
- More than half of workers (55 percent) plan to work in retirement.
- Of those who plan to work in retirement, 35 percent list lack of retirement savings as a cause.
- Seventy-two percent of listed reasons for working in retirement were “healthy-aging reasons,” including staying active (47 percent), keeping the brain alert (39 percent), maintaining a sense of purpose (34 percent) and maintaining social connections (21 percent).
- Fourteen percent plan to rely on working in retirement as their primary source of income.
- In 2020, average annual spending by Americans ages 65 and older was $47,579.
- Average annual spending by retirees in 2019 was $47,259, compared to $69,099 spent by workers.
- On average, retirees in 2020 spent $17,435 on housing, compared to $23,245 spent by workers.
- Average health care spending in 2020 was $6,668 for retirees and $4,762 for workers.
- The average Medicare Advantage plan’s monthly premium was just $21 in 2021 — a 34 percent decrease since 2017.
- Two percent, or 1.2 million seniors 65 and older lived in nursing homes in 2019.
- In 2019, about 19 percent of Americans 65 and older moved to a destination states or abroad.
- Maine (21 percent), Florida (21 percent), West Virginia (20 percent) and Vermont (20 percent) have the highest populations of seniors 65 and older.
- In 2019, 36 percent of older homeowners spent at least one-third of their income on housing, compared to 76 percent of renters.
- In a 2018 AARP study, 77 percent of respondents said they would like to remain in their current community for as long as possible, and 76 percent said they wanted to remain in their current home for as long as possible.
My position was eliminated after 21 years of progressively responsible employment in 2021. I am 64, and after 9 months in the job market, I'm leaning toward early retirement. I was planning on retiring at 66, but after reading this article, I'm not retiring so 'early.' I like reviewing stats. This article was helpful in analyzing my current situation.
28 Cited Research Articles
Annuity.org writers adhere to strict sourcing guidelines and use only credible sources of information, including authoritative financial publications, academic organizations, peer-reviewed journals, highly regarded nonprofit organizations, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts. You can read more about our commitment to accuracy, fairness and transparency in our editorial guidelines.
- AARP Research and Where We Live, AARP Livable Communities. (2018). Stats and Facts from the 2018 AARP Home and Community Preferences Survey. AARP. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/about/info-2018/2018-aarp-home-and-community-preferences-survey.html
- Administration for Community Living. (2021, May). 2020 Profile of Older Americans. Retrieved from https://acl.gov/sites/default/files/Aging%20and%20Disability%20in%20America/2020ProfileOlderAmericans.Final_.pdf
- AHIP. (2021, September). 7 Things You Need to Know About Medicare Advantage. Retrieved from: https://www.ahip.org/7-things-you-need-to-know-about-medicare-advantage/
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. (2020, September 28). Disparities in Wealth by Race and Ethnicity in the 2019 Survey of Consumer Finances. Retrieved from https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/notes/feds-notes/disparities-in-wealth-by-race-and-ethnicity-in-the-2019-survey-of-consumer-finances-20200928.htm
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. (2020, May 21). The Fed - Publications: Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households (SHED). Retrieved from https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2020-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2019-retirement.htm
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. (2021, May 15). The Fed - Publications: Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households (SHED). Retrieved from https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2021-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2020-executive-summary.htm
- Center for Retirement Research. (2018, March). Frequently Requested Data (2018, March) [Dataset]. Boston College. Retrieved from http://crr.bc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Avg_ret_age_men.pdf
- Carlos, J. (2019, November 4). Mapped: How Much You Need to Retire Comfortably in Each State. HowMuch. Retrieved from https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/average-retirement-income-by-state
- Fidelity Investments. (2020, April 24). Fidelity® Q1 2020 Retirement Analysis: Retirement Savers ‘Stayed the Course’ Despite Economic Crisis. Business Wire. Retrieved from https://newsroom.fidelity.com/press-releases/news-details/2020/Fidelity-Q1-2020-Retirement-Analysis-Retirement-Savers-Stayed-the-Course-Despite-Economic-Crisis/default.aspx
- Fidelity Investments. (2021). Building Financial Futures. Retrieved from https://sponsor.fidelity.com/bin-public/06_PSW_Website/documents/Building_Financial_Futures.pdf
- Nationwide. (2021, April 19). Advisor Authority Study. Retrieved from https://news.nationwide.com/041921-millennials-may-not-be-retiring-soon-but-planning-for-it/
- Horan, S.C. (2020, March 10). Where Retirees Are Moving – 2020 Edition. SmartAsset. Retrieved from https://smartasset.com/financial-advisor/where-retirees-are-moving-2020
- Brenan, M. (2021, May 18). U.S. Retirees’ Outlook Differs From Non-Retirees’ Outlook. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/350048/retirees-experience-differs-nonretirees-outlook.aspx
- Levine, H. (2017, August 2). Retirement Age Around the World. Aperion Care. Retrieved from https://aperioncare.com/blog/retirement-age-around-world/
- Newport, B.F. (2020, April 8). Snapshot: Average American Predicts Retirement Age of 66. Gallup.com. Retrieved from https://news.gallup.com/poll/234302/snapshot-americans-project-average-retirement-age.aspx
- Northwestern Mutual. (2021). Planning and Progress Study 2021. Retrieved from https://news.northwesternmutual.com/planning-and-progress-2021
- Oakley, D., & Kenneally, K. (2019, March). Retirement Insecurity 2019. National Institute on Retirement Security. Retrieved from https://www.nirsonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/OpinionResearch_final-1.pdf
- Parker, K., Morin, R. & Horowitz, J.M. (2020, May 30). Retirement, Social Security and long-term care. Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project. Retrieved from https://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2019/03/21/retirement-social-security-and-long-term-care/
- Pension Rights Center. (2019, July 15). How many American workers participate in workplace retirement plans? Retrieved from http://www.pensionrights.org/publications/statistic/how-many-american-workers-participate-workplace-retirement-plans
- Rudden, J. (2020, January 6). Number of retired workers receiving Social Security in the United States from 2009 to 2019. Statista. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/194295/number-of-us-retired-workers-who-receive-social-security/
- Social Security Administration. (2021). Fast Facts & Figures about Social Security, 2021. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2021/fast_facts21.html
- Social Security Administration. (2019, November). Earnings and Employment Data for Workers Covered Under Social Security and Medicare, by State and County. Retrieved from https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/statcomps/eedata_sc/index.html
- TD Ameritrade. (2020, January). Road to Retirement Survey. Retrieved from https://s2.q4cdn.com/437609071/files/doc_news/research/2020/road-to-retirement-survey.pdf
- Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. (2021, August 5). Living in the COVID-19 Pandemic:The Health, Finances, and Retirement Prospects of Four Generations. Transamerica Institute. Retrieved from https://transamericacenter.org/docs/default-source/retirement-survey-of-workers/tcrs2021_sr_four-generations-living-in-a-pandemic.pdf
- Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. (2021, October). Life in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Women’s Health, Finances, and Retirement Outlook. Transamerica Institute. Retrieved from https://transamericainstitute.org/docs/default-source/research/women-retirement-security-report.pdf
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019). Consumer Expenditure Survey. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consumer-expenditures/2019/pdf/home.pdf
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2020). Consumer Expenditures Survey 2020. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/cex/tables/calendar-year/mean-item-share-average-standard-error/reference-person-age-ranges-2020.pdf
- Walsh, M. (2021, September). Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2021. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ncs/ebs/benefits/2021/employee-benefits-in-the-united-states-march-2021.pdf
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