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The typical retiree might not look like what you imagine

Hunter Boyce, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Senior Living Features

ATLANTA -- America is facing a looming retirement crisis, according to a recent Business Insider report. Many older adults are financially vulnerable and live off less than $30,000 a year.

There was a spike in early retirements during the pandemic, but some have since “unretired” because of high costs and elevated interest rates. As of 2023, 19% of retirement-age adults were employed — nearly double the share of working retirement-age adults 35 years ago.

It makes you wonder: What does the typical retiree look like? They are likely married, didn’t further their education after high school and represent nearly a fifth of the population in Florida and Maine.

According to Business Insider, 59.4% of retired Americans are married, 20.4% are widowed, 13.5% are separated or divorced, and 6.6% never married. Roughly 57% of retirees are women, likely because women tend to live longer than men.

A majority of Americans over the age of 65 live off about $30,000 a year, but those who have retired from a job have annual income, on average, of $35,393. The top source of income for retirees is Social Security, followed by pensions.

The average age of retired Americans is on the rise, having escalated from 57 in 1991 to 61 in 2022. The largest chunk of retirees, however, are in their 70s. Roughly 39.9% are 70-79; 30.6% are 60-69; 22.6% are over 80; 4.9% are 50-59; and 2% are under 50.

 

A significant portion never pursued a higher education. Business Insider found 32.9% have only a high school diploma; 25.5% have an associate degree or something similar; 18.5% have a bachelor’s degree; 13.4% have a post-graduate degree; and 9.7% did not finish high school.

Georgia is surrounded on all sides by retiree hot spots, with 17.1% of Alabama’s, 18.3% of South Carolina’s, 18.5% of Tennessee’s and 19.6% of Florida’s population are retired. Only 13.9% of Georgia’s has said goodbye to the workplace.

Maine and New Hampshire, however, have transformed into the country’s top contenders for retirees. A whopping 19.9% of New Hampshire’s and 20% of Maine’s populations are retired.

So who is retiring in 2024′s America? According to the data, they are likely a married woman in their 70s living off $35,393 a year with no college education. And they probably have their sights set on a home in Florida, New Hampshire or Maine.


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