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50 Essential Retirement Statistics for 2020

edited July 21 in Other Investing
Three-quarters of Americans agree the country is facing a retirement crisis, making research around the topic more relevant than ever. We dug into the data on every angle of retirement and compiled the most important statistics below. Read on to learn about what today’s retirees face, from financial challenges to lifestyle decisions and more.

Does the chart below appear to be for a couple or an individual? If single, $100K / yr (for a couple) in retirement spending seems like a high hurdle to achieve. But wait... housing costs wouldn't double, would they for a couple? Are these studies forgetting that, in reality, many retirees have a wife, life partner, or family member that share many of these expenses. Also, some of these numbers are additive (take a look at telephones services...the subgroup costs add up to the bold number. The housing numbers don't add up...what gives?



  • Appears most must be in very good health as they must be doing a lot of walking !?
    Noted NO funds for transportation .
    Stay Kool, Derf
  • edited July 23
  • Before reading @bee 's comments, I had the same question: are these expenses for a household or for an individual? Bee observes that some categories don't add up, e.g. housing. (In housing, I'm not sure that they're supposed to - one either owns or rents a home, not both)

    This dubious arithmetic extends to the bottom lines - they are much greater than the sum of the bolded components. I think that addresses @Derf 's observation that transportation isn't included. Apparently, transportation (including travel?) is not considered a "key category" (see text at top of chart).

    Note that these are means, not medians. So while the text suggests that these figures illustrate how your spending might change in retirement, I'm not so sure.

    Here's actual data from the 2018 BLS Consumer Expenditure Survey, by age. The numbers don't exactly match the table above, but they're close enough. The difference could be due to the fact that I'm looking at a column labeled "65 years and older", which is not the same as "retired".

    FWIW, the mean transportation spending by a "consumer unit" with age 65+ is $7,270, while the national mean for consumer units is $9,761.

    The BLS defines a "consumer unit" as:
    either: (1) all members of a particular household who are related by blood, marriage, adoption, or other legal arrangements; (2) a person living alone or sharing a household with others or living as a roomer in a private home or lodging house or in permanent living quarters in a hotel or motel, but who is financially independent; or (3) two or more persons living together who use their income to make joint expenditure decisions. Financial independence is determined by the three major expense categories: Housing, food, and other living expenses. To be considered financially independent, at least two of the three major expense categories have to be provided entirely, or in part, by the respondent.

    Of course, since we're classifying by age, and a "consumer unit" consists of more than one person, we need to be clear on what "age" means for that unit. It's the age of the "reference person".
    Reference person - The first member mentioned by the respondent when asked to "Start with the name of the person or one of the persons who owns or rents the home." It is with respect to this person that the relationship of the other consumer unit members is determined.

  • The article is from; so I'll place this in the advertising bin file.
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