9 facts about retirement

Tip: 20% of retirees are currently providing financial support to a relative or friend.

Source: 2015 Retirement Confidence Survey, EBRI

Retirement can have many meanings. For some, it will be a time to travel and spend time with family members. For others, it will be a time to start a new business or begin a charitable endeavor. Regardless of what approach you intend to take, here are nine things about retirement that might surprise you.

Many consider the standard retirement age to be 65. One of the key influences in arriving at that age was Germany, which initially set its retirement age at 70 then lowered it to age 65. 1

Every day for the next 20 years, another 8,000 baby boomers will turn 65. That s roughly one person every 10 seconds. 2

In 2015, people aged 65 and older accounted for 15% of the population in the U.S. By 2050, they are expected to make up more than 22% of the population. 3

Ernest Ackerman was the first person to receive a Social Security benefit. In March 1937, the Cleveland streetcar motorman received a one-time, lump-sum payment of 17¢. Ackerman worked one day under Social Security. He earned $5 for the day and paid a nickel in payroll taxes. His lump-sum payout was equal to 3.5% of his wages. 4

In 2001, people aged 65 and older owned 31% of the U.S. s financial assets. By 2040, it is estimated they will hold 44% of the country‘s financial assets. 5

Nine of ten adults aged 65 years and older say they have taken at least one prescription drug in the last 30 days. 6

In 2015, nearly two-thirds (62%) of retirees depended on Social Security as a major source of their income. The average monthly Social Security benefit at the beginning of 2016 was $1,341. 7

Centenarians   in 1980 there were 15,000 of them. Today there are more than 72,000. And 80% of them are women. 8

Seniors spend a lot of time doing leisure activities, 7 to 8 hours a day. 9

Chart Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2016.

Chart Source: Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2016.


These stats and trends point to one conclusion: The 65-and-older age group is expected to become larger and have more influence in the future. Have you made arrangements for health care? Are you comfortable with your investment decisions? If you are unsure about your decisions, maybe it’s time to develop a solid strategy for the future.

Postponing Retirement?

  1. Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2016.
  2. AARP, 2015
  3. U.S. Census Bureau, 2016
  4. Social Security Administration, 2015
  5. National Bureau of Economic Research, 2015; (landmark study conducted in 2004)
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015
  7. Employee Benefit Research Institute, 2016 Retirement Confidence Survey; Social Security Administration, 2016
  8. The New York Times, January 21, 2016
  9. Bureau of Labor Statistics, June 24, 2015

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