The annual estimated median household income among retirees is $32,000. But there is a wide disparity between those who are married and unmarried.
So reports Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies (TCRS) in a new study, “The Current State of Retirement: Pre-Retiree Expectations and Retiree Realities.” The report features findings from TCRS’ first-ever survey of retirees, identifying retirement dreams, disconnects, and vulnerabilities. The study uncovers shifts in the retirement landscape, including changing benefits and work patterns, as well as where public policy changes are needed.
The report observes a wide disparity between the media household income of retirees who are married ($48,000 estimated median) and those who are unmarried ($19,000). By comparison, age 50+ workers report higher levels of income ($71,000) including those who are married ($84,000) and unmarried ($35,000).
The total household savings in retirement accounts is $135,000 (estimated median) among age 50+ workers; however, the survey found a wide disparity between those who are married ($177,000) and unmarried ($48,000). Among retirees there is also a wide disparity in retirement savings between the married ($225,000) and unmarried ($53,000).
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The report also finds that only 33 percent of retirees say they used a professional financial advisor before they retired, while 41 percent say that they currently use an advisor in retirement. Among age 50-plus workers who are investing for retirement, 41 percent currently use an advisor.
Among retirees and age 50-plus workers who use a financial advisor, they most often use their advisors to make retirement investment recommendations (81 percent each). Retirees use their advisors for calculating their retirement income needs (29 percent), developing strategies for spending down their savings to ensure they last their lifetime (29 percent), general financial planning (26 percent), and tax planning and preparation (24 percent).
Age 50-plus workers use their financial advisors for general financial planning (36 percent), calculating savings goals (36 percent), and recommendations about other retirement-related products (33 percent). Age 50-plus workers (65 percent) are more likely than retirees (54 percent) to have some form of retirement strategy.
However, few retirees (10 percent) and age 50-plus workers (14 percent) have a written strategy. Among those with a strategy, written or unwritten, most address Social Security and Medicare benefits and ongoing living expenses.