2014 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 is only one state, 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 59% 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 2011 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 2011
(in % points)
Percent of
households
65+
Alabama $51,839 $33,469 64.56% 1.12 25.10%
Alaska $81,934 $53,822 65.69% 3.16 16.20%
Arizona $57,348 $39,097 68.18% 0.08 25.30%
Arkansas $47,760 $31,959 66.92% 1.25 25.10%
California $72,091 $43,595 60.47% 1.53 21.60%
Colorado $70,732 $43,281 61.19% 4.68 19.90%
Connecticut $84,757 $44,240 52.20% 1.31 24.70%
Delaware $69,955 $43,452 62.11% 0.35 26.20%
Florida $54,591 $37,031 67.83% 0.97 29.90%
Georgia $56,760 $37,008 65.20% 3.2 20.40%
Hawaii $80,452 $55,560 69.06% 1.00 26.50%
Idaho $56,883 $36,226 63.69% 1.34 23.40%
Illinois $69,038 $38,304 55.48% 1.13 22.60%
Indiana $58,692 $35,339 60.21% 1.91 23.10%
Iowa $64,714 $36,690 56.70% 3.95 24.60%
Kansas $63,454 $37,574 59.21% 2.63 22.90%
Kentucky $50,482 $32,964 65.30% 7.15 23.50%
Louisiana $52,115 $31,230 59.93% 0.03 22.10%
Maine $54,266 $34,376 63.35% 8.53 26.80%
Maryland $88,101 $49,494 56.18% 1.3 22.00%
Massachusetts $82,112 $40,020 48.74% 3.53 23.90%
Michigan $58,530 $36,939 63.11% 3.49 24.60%
Minnesota $74,284 $38,531 51.87% 0.68 22.40%
Mississippi $43,354 $29,511 68.07% 6.71 24.30%
Missouri $56,337 $34,436 61.13% 0.86 24.00%
Montana $55,727 $35,457 63.63% 0.84 25.40%
Nebraska $64,729 $37,343 57.69% 1.36 22.80%
Nevada $58,626 $41,494 70.78% 0.06 22.10%
New Hampshire $78,157 $42,406 54.26% 3.59 23.50%
New Jersey $85,778 $45,092 52.57% 3.04 24.00%
New Mexico $52,784 $35,785 67.80% 0.91 25.50%
New York $68,696 $37,769 54.98% 2.50 23.70%
North Carolina $53,876 $34,931 64.84% 1.92 23.20%
North Dakota $72,043 $35,293 48.99% 0.82 22.10%
Ohio $59,772 $35,072 58.68% 0.51 24.30%
Oklahoma $55,545 $35,005 63.02% 2.98 23.60%
Oregon $60,360 $38,232 63.34% 0.36 24.50%
Pennsylvania $64,401 $35,009 54.36% 2.15 26.20%
Rhode Island $71,756 $39,577 55.15% 6.95 23.90%
South Carolina $51,935 $35,042 67.47% 1.20 25.10%
South Dakota $59,955 $36,354 60.64% 5.78 23.30%
Tennessee $52,122 $34,462 66.12% 6.17 23.80%
Texas $62,381 $37,588 60.26% 2.12 19.40%
Utah $74,390 $44,384 59.66% 2.37 19.00%
Vermont $63,980 $35,844 56.02% 1.74 25.00%
Virginia $75,594 $44,440 58.79% 2.59 22.00%
Washington $70,946 $42,287 59.60% 2.54 22.10%
West Virginia $50,157 $31,542 62.89% 0.14 27.30%
Wisconsin $64,563 $34,721 53.78% 1.16 23.60%
Wyoming $70,585 $40,934 57.99% 6.74 21.90%
District of Columbia $64,536 $47,632 73.81% 10.82 18.20%
NATIONAL AVERAGE $63,474 $37,847 59.63% 2.22 23.40%
2011 national average $61,148 $35,107 57.41%
2005 National average $57,375 $28,722 50.06%