2024 Retirement Statistics: A Quick Look

senior retiree researching about retirement statistics and information

Are you looking for detailed information about retirement? You’ve come to the right place. This page compiles extensive statistical information related to retirement, retirees, and seniors, gathered from a variety of reputable sources including non-profit organizations, government websites, and high-authority websites.

Whether you are a content creator, retiree, or simply someone curious about retirement, this guide will serve as a valuable resource for your research. Below, you will find logically categorized tidbits of statistical information.

Disclaimer: Please note that the statistics and information provided here have been extracted from various sources. While most data ranges from 2020 to 2024, some older data has been included due to the lack of updated versions.

Additionally, the information presented here offers a snapshot view; there are more stories and data behind these numbers. It’s recommended that you delve deeper into these sources before citing or referencing them. A list of sources used in this research has been provided for your reference.

Savings, Financial Security, And Average Account Balances

This section explores retirement savings among American households. Alarmingly, most lack any retirement savings, and minorities are especially disadvantaged. With traditional pensions becoming less common, the burden of saving falls on individuals, but many struggle to save enough, with a third saving only a small portion of their income.

  • Almost half (46%) of American households have no retirement savings.
  • The number of households with a defined benefit pension plan has halved since 1989 (25% vs. 50%).
  • One in four households has saved over $100,000 for retirement.
  • One-third of individuals save only up to 7% of their income for retirement.
  • Nearly half (46%) of American households have no retirement savings.
  • Many retirees lack savings—40% of US baby boomers have less than $50,000 saved, and 45% of retirees rely heavily on Social Security.
  • Retirement savings of minority households lag behind white households by about 28%.
  • Here are the current average retirement account balance:
    • Ages 45–54: Average retirement account balance of ~$313,220.
    • Ages 55–64: Average of ~$537,560 saved for retirement.
    • Ages 65–74: Highest average at ~$609,230.
    • Over 75: Average balance of ~$462,410.
  • Here are the current average retirement 401(k) balance:
    • Ages 45–54: Average 401(k) balance of ~$142,000.
    • Ages 55–64: Higher average 401(k) balance of ~$207,800.
    • Over 65: Highest average 401(k) balance at ~$232,700.

Social Security And Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

This section provides a snapshot of two key programs that support Americans financially in retirement and beyond. Social Security is the foundation for many retirees, with over 70 million beneficiaries receiving an average of $22,000 annually. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) offers assistance to over 7.5 million low-income adults and children, with a focus on those with disabilities or blindness.

  • Full Social Security benefits start at age 67, with an average annual benefit of around $22,000.
  • Women make up over half (55%) of adult Social Security beneficiaries.
  • The average disabled beneficiary is 55.6 years old.
  • There are roughly 7.5 million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients. Over half (4.2 million) are aged 18-64, with 2.3 million over 65 and 1 million under 18.
  • 85% receive benefits due to disability or blindness.

Access to Pension Plans

This section explores access to pension plans in the U.S. The data reveals significant disparities. Full-time workers, government employees, those in higher-paying jobs, and those working for larger companies are all considerably more likely to have a pension plan compared to their counterparts. This highlights the uneven distribution of retirement security through pensions across the workforce.

  • Full-time workers are much more likely to have access to a pension plan (80%) compared to part-time workers (40%).
  • Government workers (91%) have a higher chance of having a pension than private sector workers (67%).
  • Public sector pensions are mostly defined benefit (DB) plans (86%), while private sector pensions are mainly defined contribution (DC) plans (64%).
  • Workers in higher-paying jobs have greater access to pensions (88%) compared to lower-paying jobs (42%).
  • Large companies (500+ employees) are more likely to offer pensions (88%) than smaller companies with fewer than 50 employees (49%).
  • More retirees rely on pensions (38%–34%) compared to 401(k)s (22%–24%).

Retirement Age

This section dives into the realities of retirement age in America. While the average desired retirement age is 63, most end up retiring earlier at 62. Surprisingly, only a third plan to stop working within the next five years. Financial preparedness plays a role, with a third having the ability to retire early. Confidence in affording retirement is surprisingly high, though a smaller percentage feel on track to achieve it.

  • People expect to retire at 63, but most actually retire at 62. Only a third (32%) of pre-retirees (ages 55–64) plan to stop working in the next 5 years​​.
  • More educated retirees are more likely to keep working (18% with a bachelor’s degree or higher vs. 9% with a high school diploma or less).
  • Around 35% of workers were financially able to retire early.
  • Most Americans (70%) feel confident about affording retirement, with retirees feeling more confident (32%) than workers (28%)​​.
  • Only 31% of working adults feel they’re on track for retirement, a drop from 40% in 2021​.
  • A third (33%) currently use a financial advisor, and 45% plan to. Advisors are the most trusted source (22%), followed by family/friends (18%) and online research (14%)​.
  • 31% of retirees left due to company changes.
  • Inflation is the biggest concern for those worried about retirement (31% workers, 40% retirees).

Healthcare Costs And Life Expectancy

This section highlights the challenges of healthcare costs in retirement. Rising healthcare costs are a top concern for retirees, with many struggling to afford long-term care. The increasing lifespan adds to the financial burden, as healthy lifespans haven’t kept pace with overall life expectancy.

  • Retired Americans spend an average of 14% of their income on healthcare, and 85% worry about high healthcare costs​  
  • A 65-year-old retiree can expect to spend over $157,500 on healthcare throughout retirement.
  • Nearly half (49%) of retirees overestimated Medicare coverage.
  • Most retirees spend an average of 14% of their income on healthcare. It’s estimated that a 65-year-old couple will need $300,000 for healthcare alone.
  • Life expectancy has increased globally by over 6 years since 2000 (to 73.4 years).
  • While life expectancy has increased, healthy lifespan hasn’t kept pace (healthy life expectancy is 63.7 years).

Retirement Spending And Financial Literacy

This section explores the financial realities of retirement living in the US. While some retirees spend modestly, official reports show a wide range in retirement expenses.  Financial literacy is a concern, with most Americans struggling with basic financial concepts. This knowledge gap can make it difficult to plan effectively for retirement.

  • Half of retirees spend less than $2,000 per month (< $24,000/year).
  • The Social Security Administration reports a median of $34,088 for those over 65.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average of $57,818 for households headed by someone 65 or older.
  • Around 70% of retirees have enough saved to cover 3 months of unexpected expenses.
  • Adults average only 1.8 out of 3 correct answers on basic financial concepts (e.g., interest, inflation, risk, et cetera).
  • Women answer fewer questions correctly than men and are more likely to say they don’t know.

Retirement Planning And Retirement Concerns

This section delves into the planning and concerns surrounding retirement. While many took basic steps like calculating income needs and emergency planning, a significant portion neglected crucial areas like withdrawal rates and healthcare costs.

  • Nearly half (46%) calculated retirement income needs.
  • Many (49%) estimated monthly retirement income and planned for emergencies (47%).
  • Fewer considered withdrawal rates (42%) or healthcare costs (41%).
  • Most retirees (63%) wish they had planned more beforehand. Many overestimated Medicare coverage (49%)​​.
  • Here are the top concerns for retirees:
    • Inflation: 89% are worried about inflation impacting their savings.
    • Healthcare Costs: 85% are concerned about high healthcare costs.
    • Market Downturns: 76% are worried about market downturns affecting their retirement savings.
    • Running Out of Money: 68% fear running out of money in retirement.
    • Managing Retirement Income: 69% find it difficult to manage their retirement income.
    • Health and Finances: A third (33%) worry that their financial situation affects their health, and a quarter (26%) lose sleep over money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Need help with your research? This list of frequently asked questions and their answers might help:

Where can I find reliable retirement statistics?

Government websites like the Social Security Administration and Bureau of Labor Statistics offer valuable data. Reputable non-profit organizations and research institutions also publish insightful reports.

How do Social Security benefits factor into retirement planning?

Social Security provides a foundation but usually isn’t enough to cover all expenses.  Factor in your estimated benefit amount when calculating your overall retirement needs.

How can I tell if the retirement statistics I find are accurate?

Look for the source of the data and its date. Reputable sources will cite their data and ensure it’s recent (ideally within the last five years). Check for affiliations—non-profit organizations are generally less biased than commercial sites.

What are some keywords to help me find specific retirement statistics?

Pair general terms like retirement savings or healthcare costs with specific demographics like millennials or women to narrow your search. Consider terms like income inequality or racial gap for studies on disparities.

Is there a difference between retirement planning statistics and general retirement statistics?

Retirement planning statistics often focus on behaviors and trends, like how much people save or their top concerns. General retirement statistics might cover demographics, healthcare costs, or life expectancy across the whole population.

How can I compare retirement statistics across different countries?

International organizations like the OECD (https://www.oecd.org/) publish data on various countries. Look for reports on retirement income, social security systems, or pension plans. Be mindful of different currencies and economic factors that may affect comparisons.

What if I don’t understand the technical terms used in retirement statistics?

Many government and non-profit websites offer glossaries or explainers for common terms. Look for sections titled Definitions or Methodology to understand how the data is collected and presented.

Are there resources available to help me interpret retirement statistics?

Financial news websites and retirement planning blogs often analyze and explain complex statistics. Look for articles with clear explanations and visualizations like charts and graphs.

How can I stay updated on the latest trends in retirement statistics?

Subscribe to email alerts from reputable organizations or follow them on social media. Attend webinars or online forums focused on retirement planning for relevant discussions and updates.

Should I be wary of statistics used to promote specific financial products?

Yes, be cautious of statistics used in marketing materials. Look for unbiased sources and compare data from multiple sources before making any financial decisions.


This comprehensive guide has provided a wealth of statistics on retirement, culled from reliable sources like non-profits, government agencies, and high-authority websites. Whether you’re a content creator, nearing retirement, or simply planning for the future, this information can empower you to make informed decisions.

However, remember, the data presented here is a starting point; explore the provided sources for a deeper understanding of retirement realities.

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for more retiree- and retirement-related content and information, check out my other posts. Here are some of them:

Happy reading!


  1. https://usafacts.org/data-projects/retirement-savings 
  2. https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/articles/average-retirement-savings-balance-by-age 
  3. https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/chartbooks/fast_facts/2023/fast_facts23.html 
  4. https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R43439/11 
  5. https://www.ebri.org/retirement/retirement-confidence-survey 
  6. https://money.usnews.com/money/retirement/aging/articles/a-guide-to-the-fire-movement 
  7. https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2021/03/16/growing-number-of-americans-want-to-retire-before-65-study/ 
  8. https://www.heartsandwallets.com/docs/press/press_release_2021-03-16_Retirement_Resurgence_Americans_Who_Aspire_to_Retire_by_55_Goal_More_Income_Sources.pdf
  9. https://www.schroders.com/en-us/us/institutional/media-center/schroders-retirement-study-finds-inflation-taking-toll-on-retirees/ 
  10. https://www.federalreserve.gov/econres/scf/dataviz/scf/chart/#series:Retirement_Accounts;demographic:agecl;population:1,2,3,4,5,6;units:have;range:1989,2022 
  11. https://smartasset.com/retirement/average-retirement-budget 
  12. https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/spending-in-retirement 
  13. https://www.ebri.org/docs/default-source/rcs/2022-rcs/rcs_22-fs-3_prep.pdf?sfvrsn=e5c83b2f_4 
  14. https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/themes/mortality-and-global-health-estimates/ghe-life-expectancy-and-healthy-life-expectancy 
  15. https://www.visualcapitalist.com/cp/charted-the-worlds-aging-population-1950-to-2100/ 
  16. https://desapublications.un.org/publications/world-population-ageing-2023-challenges-and-opportunities-population-ageing-least 
  17. https://www.eurasian-research.org/publication/united-nations-report-on-ageing-world-2023/ 
  18. https://desapublications.un.org/publications/world-social-report-2023-leaving-no-one-behind-ageing-world 
  19. https://www.massmutual.com/global/media/shared/doc/2024_massmutual_retirement_happiness_study.pdf 
  20. https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-23-105342.pdf 
  21. https://www.federalreserve.gov/publications/2023-economic-well-being-of-us-households-in-2022-retirement-investments.htm 
  22. https://institutional.vanguard.com/content/dam/inst/iig-transformation/has/2023/pdf/has-insights/how-america-saves-report-2023.pdf 
  23. https://www.milliman.com/en/insight/retiree-health-cost-index-2024 
  24. https://newsroom.fidelity.com/pressreleases/fidelity–releases-2023-retiree-health-care-cost-estimate–for-the-first-time-in-nearly-a-decade–re/s/b826bf3a-29dc-477c-ad65-3ede88606d1c
  25. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/the-affordability-of-long-term-care-and-support-services/  


My wife and I quit the rat race and retired in 2021. We RV'ed around the US for a couple of years and now we're slow traveling outside the US!

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