Retirement Statistics

the ultimate list of retirement statistics, facts, and figures

Retirement is a significant milestone in life, and it’s essential to be as prepared as possible when it comes.

 

Knowing some key retirement facts and statistics can help you make more informed decisions about this important life phase.

 

To help you to compare different aspects of retirement, we’ve divided these stats into our trusty framework, the 5 Rings of Retirement

 

  • Growth — Lifelong learning, new experiences, meaningful work, brain plasticity, and embracing challenges
  • Community — Relationships, friendships, social life, and engagement in your community
  • Health — Diet, exercise, longevity, energy level, cognitive health, and physical, mental, and emotional health
  • Giving Back — Sense of purpose, sharing your unique gifts, legacy, volunteering, gifting, and contributions
  • Finance — Financial security, not outliving your money, budgeting, legacy, and estate planning

the 5 rings of retirement: growth, community, health, giving back, and finances

 

But let’s start with the basics — retirement age and demographics statistics.

 

Retirement Age & Demographics Statistics

 

Now that the basics are covered, let’s head into the first Ring of Retirement – Growth.

 

#1: Growth Retirement Statistics 

Retirement is often seen as a time to kick back, relax, and take things easy. But we say retirement is just the beginning of a large growth journey. 

 

You’re designed to evolve, change, and develop at every life stage, and your senior years in retirement are no different. It’s all about finding new ways to expand your horizons, continue learning and challenging yourself, and ultimately — living life to the fullest.

 

Whether it’s pursuing lifelong learning, exploring a new hobby, or traveling to far-off destinations, retirement offers plenty of growth opportunities. And the statistics prove it…

Education & Learning Statistics

 

Hobbies & Leisure Activities Statistics

 

the most popular hobbies among retirees

 

Retirement Travel Statistics

 

percentage of solo travelers by age

 

 

#2: Community Retirement Statistics

We all know the importance of social interaction in our lives. It’s like the oxygen you breathe – you can’t survive without it. And this rings especially true as you enter retirement. 

 

Our families, friends, partners, and even strangers can significantly influence our overall well-being and happiness. Let’s take a look at some of the retirement statistics in the Retirement Ring of Community…

 

Family Statistics

  • Individuals aged 65 and above consider having family members nearby to be extremely important, with 44% affirming this statement. In comparison, 38% of individuals aged 50 to 64, 33% of those aged 18 to 29, and 31% of those aged 30 to 49 think the same.
  • Approximately 24% of Americans between the ages of 55 and 64, as well as 21% of those who are 65 or older, are currently residing with family members from different generations in the same house.
  • According to a survey, seniors aged 65 and above believe that the greatest advantage of growing old is the opportunity to spend more time with their families. When asked to mention the perks of aging, 28% of the respondents mentioned having more time to spend with family, while 25% mentioned the joy of spending time with their grandchildren.

 

Adult Children

 

parents and adult children expressing worries to each other

 

  • Almost all (97%) of American adults who have regular communication with their adult children at least once a month communicate via phone, while 61% communicate via text messages.
  • According to a survey from Savings.com, more than half of parents (51%) of adults children support them financially.
  • While 76% of Americans believe that adult children should financially support their parents if needed, only 50% believe that  parents should financially support their adult children if they face financial difficulties.
  • 65% of older adults think parents do too much for their children.
  • Among parents who are 65 and older, only 12% depend more on their children than their children depend on them. Another 14% state that their children rely on them more. The majority of 58% reported that neither of them depends on each other, while 13% mentioned that they rely on each other equally.

 


statistics who helps whom according to older parents

 

 

Grandchildren

 

how long distance grandparents connect with their grandchildren

 

  • According to a Croatian study, the emotional significance of the relationship between grandparents and grandchildren is second only to that of parents and children.
  • A study on the brain activity of 50 grandmothers confirms the existence of the “grandmother hypothesis.” It was found that grandmothers displayed higher levels of emotional empathy towards their grandchildren compared to their own children.
  • According to a study by Grandkids Matter:
    • 72% think being a grandparent is the single most important and satisfying thing in their life
    • 63% say they can do a better job caring for grandchildren than they did with their own children
    • 68% think being a grandparent brings them closer to their adult children
    • 90% enjoy talking about their grandkids to just about everyone
  • 73% of grandparents rated their performance as high and reported that they enjoy their role as grandparents.
  • Discipline is the top disagreement (57%) among parents and grandparents on raising children, followed by meals and snacks, screen time, manners, and health and safety.

 

parents vs grandparents - the main disagreements on raising children:

 

Friendship Statistics

  • A study about social connections before and after retirement discovered that the level of inner and middle social connections does not decrease significantly after retirement.
  • 83% of over 55s feel it’s never too late in life to create fulfilling relationships in their later years.
  • However, making friends in adulthood is challenging due to lack of time, low trust and introversion.
  • Compared to younger individuals, seniors tend to value sensitivity in their friendships and are more likely to socialize with people from different age groups.
  • As you grow older, the influence of your friends on your health and overall well-being becomes greater, surpassing even that of your family.
  • Engaging in social-friendship and social-cultural activities is linked to lower mortality rates in seniors.

 

Marriage, Dating & Intimacy Statistics

 

 

divorce rates for adults aged 50 and older have roughly doubled in the last 25 years
Avoid becoming a part of this scary gray divorce statistic. Source: Pew Research

 

 

40% of older adults still have sex and 54% of older couples

 

Social Isolation & Loneliness Statistics

  • COVID-19 pandemic led to increase in loneliness of older adults and it still holds a negative impact on seniors’ social lives.
  • 27% of Americans aged 60 and over are living alone, and 43% report feeling lonely on a regular basis.
  • Senior loneliness is mainly caused by a gap between the expectations of relationships and their reality.
  • In 2023, a study on loneliness found that 34% of adults aged 50-80 reported feeling isolated from others in the previous year. Additionally, 33% of older adults had infrequent contact with individuals outside of their household — 14% had contact once a week, 10% every 2-3 weeks, and 9% only once a month or less.

changes in feelings of social isolation, 2018-2023 among adults age 50-80

 

#3: Senior Health Statistics

As you approach your golden years, it’s important to keep tabs on your health. But it’s not just about physical fitness – mental and emotional well-being matter, too. 

 

When it comes to senior health statistics, the numbers don’t lie: the risk of chronic illness and disease increases with age.

 

But here’s the good news – by taking a holistic approach to your health, you can slow down the aging process and prevent a host of health problems. Staying active, eating healthy, and nurturing your mental and emotional health improve your quality of life and live independently longer.

Mental Health Statistics

 

CDC estimates that one in five older adults experience mental health problems, most commonly anxiety and depression.

 

  • The suicide rate is the highest among older men over the age of 65.
  • Primary care physicians provided mental health services to over 55% of older adults seeking treatment, while mental health professionals treated less than 3% of those aged 65 and above.
  • In 2020, the US saw more than 5,000 people aged 65 or older die from drug overdoses, and over 11,616 deaths were caused by alcohol-related reasons.
  • Around the world, approximately one out of every six individuals 60 years of age or older have encountered some type of elder abuse.
  • There’s promising news in that over half (53%) of older adults meditate at least once weekly.
  • A recent study on the perceptions of mental health in older adults found that 79.6% of participants reported their mental health being the same or improved compared to 20 years ago, while 18.6% stated that it has worsened. In addition, the study revealed that most respondents (87.3%) feel comfortable discussing their mental health, with 30.6% preferring to discuss it with their primary care provider.

 

Cognitive Health Statistics

 

A-third-of-seniors-die-with-dementia-killing-more-than-breast-and-prostate-cancer-combined.

 

 

Physical Health Statistics

Physical Activity

 

what people say before and after retirement
Live up to your potential and do what you set out to do before your retired

 

Senior Care & Assisted Living Statistics

  • Out of adults aged 65 and above, 7% require assistance from others with personal care.
  • Approximately 70% of people who reach the age of 65 today may need long-term care services and assistance for the rest of their lives. Additionally, on average, women require care longer (3.7 years) than men (2.2 years).
  • In 2016, long-term care services were provided by; 28,900 assisted living and similar residential care facilities, 15,600 nursing home facilities, 12,200 home health agencies, 4,600 adult day care centers, and 4,300 hospice agencies.

 

#4: Giving Back Retirement Statistics 

Whether it’s through volunteering at a local organization, mentoring young people, or donating to causes near and dear to your heart, giving back can be a powerful way to share your unique gifts with the world. 

 

It’s worth mentioning a big caveat — it’s important to brainstorm well beyond traditional forms of giving back. 

 

As in, find clarity first and contribute in a way that’s truly unique to you and your unique gifts – the way you help others and who you help need to be intrinsically motivating you. 

 

Otherwise, we have found that it’s very common for people to “try on” popular or stereotypical forms of volunteering in retirement and lose steam right away because it’s not a good fit (which makes sense because everyone is different).

 

That being said, once you find the right volunteer opportunity, the giver often benefits more so than the receiver. 

  

 

how volunteering after retirement benefits older adults’ psychological well-being and how it compares to non-volunteers

 

#5: Finance Retirement Statistics

While finance is an essential piece of the retirement puzzle, in our book – its purpose is to help fuel your retirement dreams, wishes, desires, and goals in the other 4 Rings of Retirement. 

 

And remember, it’s never too late to start taking control of your financial future. So let’s take a look at the numbers to help you better understand where you are – and where you want to go.

Retirement Savings & Income Statistics

us retirees current income sources 2023

 

 

Senior Spending Statistics

  • The average American spends over $65,000 per year, and that number doesn’t change too drastically once you reach retirement ($49,441).

 

how spending changes before and after retirement

 

  • Between 31-35% of expenditures for US adults over 65 years old goes towards housing, while 13-14% is spent on food. Apparel and entertainment make up a smaller percentage of spending, with only 3-5% of expenditures allocated towards them.
  • Overall, the mean yearly senior spending is $27,902 in the US, and the median is $19,476.
  • The median annual costs of healthcare in the US for 2021 were: $108,405 for a private room in a nursing home, $54,000 for an assisted living facility, and $61,776 for a home health aide.

 

Phew – that’s a lot of retirement statistics. May they guide you to your best retirement life.

 

Looking Beyond The Numbers

The retirement statistics presented in this article paint an interesting picture of the current state of the retiree demographic. 

 

From growth and community to health, giving back, and finances, various key data points showcase a snapshot of how retirees live today. 

 

While numbers can provide insight, they don’t tell the full story. Each individual has their own unique retirement experience and their own unique path to their best life experience. 

 

It’s important to think beyond the numbers and put your own priorities and circumstances into context when planning your retirement journey. 

 

May the less-than-ideal retirement statistics, facts, and figures motivate you to be better. And may the promising retirement statistics comfort you as a solid starting point. 

 

Either way, here’s to always striving to be your best.

 

As always, we’re here if you want help turning your retirement years into your best years – feel free to check out our free workshop on How to Live a Purposeful Retirement Life

What's Your Retirement Purpose?

These 10 questions can make all the difference
portrait of Cyn Meyer, founder of Second Wind Movement and a certified retirement life coach
Cyn Meyer 

Retirement Life Coach

As a certified retirement life coach since 2018, Cyn has helped thousands of older adults turn their retirement years into remarkable years full of growth, purpose, and passion. Through her signature program Rewire My Retirement, she helps people achieve their best life across the 5 Rings of Retirement, which covers topics Growth, Community, Health, Giving Back, and Finance.


Cyn combines specific life coaching tools, neuroscience, and her extensive background in marketing (spanning 17 years) to make a powerful impact with Second Wind Movement – an organization dedicated to providing educational resources and coaching for seniors.

With meticulous research, insight, and passion, Cyn’s mission is to usher in a new wave of positive experiences for generations of retirees.

portrait of Cyn Meyer, founder of Second Wind Movement and a certified retirement life coach

Cyn Meyer 

Retirement Life Coach

As a certified retirement life coach since 2018, Cyn has helped thousands of older adults turn their retirement years into remarkable years full of growth, purpose, and passion (beyond the stereotypical financial planning side of retirement). 

She combines specific life coaching tools, neuroscience, and her extensive background in marketing (spanning 17 years) to make a powerful impact with Second Wind Movement – an organization dedicated to providing educational resources and coaching for seniors.

With meticulous research, insight, and passion, Cyn’s mission is to usher in a new wave of positive experiences for generations of retirees.