Average Retirement Income

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Looking to see how much retirement income you may need?  Make sure and see the related posts at the bottom of this post.

As noted in our post on average retirement savings, it is not exact to define a "retiree"  in determining average retirement income. About 15% of the people who classify themselves as retirees are working some hours per week. And as seen in the last graph below, the portion of those working at retirement age is expected to increase to 25% in the next couple years.

What we do know is that in the US, labor force participation falls off rapidly after age 60. So we can assume that for those age 60 and over, we have a majority of people no longer in the labor force. That will give meaning to the two tables on average retirement income below.


2009 US Census Data
(figures are dollars per year)
60 to 64 years
65 years and over
..65 to 74 years
..65 to 69 years
..70 to 74 years
..75 years and over
..65 years old and over
....65 to 74 years
....75 years and over


The first table above shows us income by age for individuals. You may recall that the median is the halfway point between the lowest and highest person's income.  So for men in their late 60's, the median individual income is just under $31,000.  The mean (the average retirement income) however is over $45,000 because there are always a few Mitt Romney types at the top which pulls the average way up for the group.

Also note the significant disparity between men and women and this is assumed to be because women are working fewer hours per week and possibly, in lower paying positions.

The second table shows income by household, not by person. Notice that the household incomes are higher than the individual incomes as you would expect but not a lot higher.  This coincides with the expectation that in an older couple, one may work but the other does not.  So the income contribution of the non-working spouse may simply be social security income or some pension income.

Not shown here are some variations on average retirement income by region of the country and urban vs rural residency.

Here are some great graphs that provide a lot of insight into the average retirement income of those at retirement age.


Sources of retirement income



retirement income of those working at retirement age






Related Posts on Retirement Income:

How Much Retirement Income will You Need?

Sources of Supplemental Retirement Income

Retirement Income Calculator

Yet more posts can be found using the Google custom search bar at the top of the blog.


5 thoughts on “Average Retirement Income

  1. It is true that the workforce falls over after the age of 60. Those were very useful charts. It looks as though people are working past their retirement ages and work longer.

  2. Sälja Guld says:

    This is some interesting info. I know that this is a US website, but I'd like to see what the statistics are for my home country (Sweden)

  3. It's a shame so many people still need to work after retirement. These figures show why though.

  4. Hein says:

    I don't believe in saving up for retirement. Investing is the answer to have a comfortable retirement. Besides, money only loses value overtime. Your investments not only provide passive income, it also does not lose value. I'm only 22 now and I will probably never work for someone. I don't see why I have to work my whole life just to save up for retirement.

    Yes I am working but from home. My goal is to be in the B (business) and I (investment) quadrant.

  5. Priti says:

    Thanks for the detailed analysis of average income. It is really a shocker to see that lots of people still have to work after they are retired just because of a paltry average retirement income. One must be real careful about retirement and start making retirement plans right from their youth.

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