2013 Retirement Income Study

Roll of dollar bills in a bird's nest

The rule of thumb among financial experts is that you need about 70% of your pre-retirement income once you quit working if you wish to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle.

Yet there are only two states, Hawaii and Nevada, where households of those 65 and over are making at least 70% of the income earned by households between 45 and 64 years of age, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data.

In the vast majority of states, retired households earn just 50% to 60% of the income of those in the age group immediately below them.

Nationally, these older Americans have incomes that average just 57% of those aged 45 to 64, far below the replacement level suggested by financial planners and other experts.

Here is the median income for the pre- and post-retirement cohorts based on Census Bureau data.

We then calculated the “replacement” percentage for each state based on those income numbers, how much that had changed since 2005 and the percent of households led by someone 65 and over in each state.

Retirement income

State Median income
(45 to 64)
Median income
(65 and over)
Replacement
income
Increase
from 2005
(in % points)
Percent of
households
65+
Alabama $49,379 $31,324 63.44% 11.36 23.10%
Alaska $76,379 $47,761 62.53% 7.71 14.10%
Arizona $55,187 $37,581 68.10% 10.17 23.80%
Arkansas $46,077 $30,259 65.67% 11.32 24.00%
California $69,251 $40,815 58.94% 8.20 20.40%
Colorado $68,098 $38,480 56.51% 7.32 18.20%
Connecticut $82,223 $41,843 50.89% 8.67 23.10%
Delaware $69,947 $43,687 62.46% 11.49 24.30%
Florida $52,183 $34,892 66.86% 8.04 27.90%
Georgia $54,451 $33,761 62.00% 13.53 18.70%
Hawaii $73,310 $51,361 70.06% 6.58 25.00%
Idaho $53,091 $33,100 62.35% 5.56 22.10%
Illinois $65,074 $35,370 54.35% 6.88 21.70%
Indiana $56,112 $32,714 58.30% 7.85 21.70%
Iowa $62,100 $32,757 52.75% 3.26 23.60%
Kansas $61,564 $34,831 56.58% 6.98 21.80%
Kentucky $50,180 $29,181 58.15% 7.29 22.80%
Louisiana $49,610 $29,716 59.90% 9.73 21.40%
Maine $55,982 $30,691 54.82% 4.58 24.30%
Maryland $85,070 $46,683 54.88% 5.86 20.80%
Massachusetts $78,483 $35,483 45.21% 3.64 22.60%
Michigan $56,503 $33,688 59.62% 11.46 23.50%
Minnesota $69,974 $35,823 51.19% 5.15 21.40%
Mississippi $44,332 $27,203 61.36% 7.86 22.70%
Missouri $54,714 $32,977 60.27% 7.93 23.00%
Montana $51,568 $33,247 64.47% 9.73 24.00%
Nebraska $62,148 $35,006 56.33% 7.57 22.00%
Nevada $55,401 $39,181 70.72% 9.71 20.80%
New Hampshire $75,582 $38,296 50.67% 2.68 21.70%
New Jersey $82,477 $40,850 49.53% 6.97 23.00%
New Mexico $51,811 $34,657 66.89% 9.67 23.00%
New York $66,589 $34,946 52.48% 5.62 22.60%
North Carolina $52,345 $32,936 62.92% 10.29 21.50%
North Dakota $65,902 $31,743 48.17% 2.52 21.80%
Ohio $56,187 $32,683 58.17% 8.41 23.20%
Oklahoma $52,526 $31,537 60.04% 5.32 23.00%
Oregon $57,411 $36,160 62.98% 7.43 23.20%
Pennsylvania $61,534 $32,124 52.21% 6.39 25.00%
Rhode Island $68,198 $32,874 48.20% 6.22 23.10%
South Carolina $50,054 $33,171 66.27% 1.06 23.20%
South Dakota $59,829 $32,823 54.86% 4.46 22.60%
Tennessee $50,350 $30,186 59.95% 9.05 22.30%
Texas $60,132 $34,963 58.14% 4.99 18.20%
Utah $69,618 $39,886 57.29% 5.36 17.80%
Vermont $63,370 $36,600 57.76% 6.64 23.10%
Virginia $74,670 $41,965 56.20% 7.62 20.80%
Washington $69,803 $39,829 57.06% 4.16 20.40%
West Virginia $45,019 $28,375 63.03% 10.17 26.20%
Wisconsin $62,214 $32,739 52.62% 5.73 22.30%
Wyoming $67,295 $34,487 51.25% 3.18 20.20%
District of Columbia $67,311 $42,396 62.99% 5.09 18.30%
NATIONAL AVERAGE $61,148 $35,107 57.41% 7.35 22.10%
2005 national average $57,375 $28,722 50.06%