The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a surge of retirements across the U.S. labor force. Experts estimate that in the first 18 months of the pandemic, there were 2.4 million more retirements than there would have otherwise been. Due in part to the historic increase, an estimated 19.3% of the U.S. population were retired as of mid-2021, the largest share in at least the last 25 years.
The two primary reasons older Americans left the workforce for good in recent months were the health risks posed by the pandemic and rising asset values – particularly in housing and the stock market – that made retirement financially feasible. Indeed, health and financial stability are two of many factors that affect overall quality of life throughout old age. Here is a look at what it costs to retire comfortably in every state.
With retirements at historic levels, 24/7 Wall St. created an index of over a dozen key socioeconomic measures to identify the best and worst states to grow old in. The measures were chosen to gauge the health, financial well-being, safety, and social engagement of 65 and older populations in each state.
Minnesota has one of the healthiest retirement age populations in the country. Average life expectancy at age 65 in the state is 20 years, one of the highest averages of any state and half a year longer than the national average.
By some measures, older Minnesotans are also more likely than most Americans 65 and older to be financially secure. Only 7.4% of the retirement age population live below the poverty line, compared to the national 65 and older poverty rate of 9.4%. Additionally, retired public sector workers in Minnesota have the added benefit of a well funded pension system. With funding for 82.2% of its pension obligations, Minnesota has a better funded pension than all but 13 other states.
|Rank||State||Population 65 and older (%)||Avg. annual earnings, 65 and older households ($)||Life expectancy at age 65 (years)|