Editor's Blog

Retirement Facts - Part 1

retirement facts part 1

A few weeks ago, we had a short discussion on the Case for Unretirement.

This week, we’re looking at some highlights from LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute’s comprehensive Fact Book on Retirement Income 2019 for this first post in a short Retirement Facts series.


Increasing Life Expectancy

Life expectancies for men and women have remained stable since 2000, increasing one to two years over time. Women have historically outlived men every year, and that trend has not changed. In 2017, the life expectancy was 83.1 years of age for men and 85.6 years of age for women.


Sources of Individual Retiree Income

Retiree income consists of a mix between:

  • Social Security
  • Pensions and retirement plans
  • Interest and dividends
  • Employment earnings
  • Other

Of these, Social Security and pensions and retirement plans make up the largest sources of income for individual retirees.


Average Monthly Social Security Benefit

The average monthly benefit in 2018, with or without reduction, was $1,523.


Retiree Household Income

10.9 million fully retired households had income of $25,000 or less in 2016. That’s nearly 40% of the total reported fully retired households. (Note: The poverty line for a 2-person household was $16,020 in 20161.)


Retiree Debt

The average mortgage debt has shown an increasing trend since 1989. In 2016, the average mortgage debt was $105,900.


Pensions in the Long-Term

Although it’s one of the major sources of retirement income right now, the number of pensions will drop off drastically for the younger generations.


Retiree Population and the Age Group with the Assets

The number of fully retired households aged 55 or older in 2018 was approximately 29.4 million, which was only 23% of the total number of households reported.

In 2017, that 23% of fully retired households aged 55 or older owned approximately $32 trillion in assets.


Retirement in America is changing, with life expectancy and debt increasing and income for the majority decreasing. It’s important to keep an eye on trends and make informed decisions.

Stay tuned for more highlights next week.

Computations for the 2016 Annual Update of the HHS Poverty Guidelines


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