Most Americans may think of age 65 as the target retirement age, but many people stop working before they reach that age.
Money Talks News analyzed data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey to determine the average retirement age in each state — or, more precisely, the age at which a majority of people in each state stop working.
The average retirement age nationally is 64, and the average retirement age by state is as low as 61, our analysis found. Only in a few states do a majority of residents work past age 65.
As we note in “8 Reasons Your Parents Had an Easier Retirement Than You Will,” some workers end up having to leave the workforce sooner than they intended:
“Many workers today are counting on working into their late 60s and early 70s. But poor health, a job loss or the need to care for loved ones can force people to retire before then.”
Read on to learn the average retirement age in every state and Washington, D.C.
The nation’s capital has the nation’s highest average retirement age, with most District of Columbia residents staying in the workforce until age 67.
Of course, Washington, D.C., also has a steep cost of living, so working longer may be necessary for lots of folks. As of the second quarter of this year, its cost of living was higher than that of any U.S. state except for Hawaii, according to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC).
A recent Zillow analysis found that the median cost of a starter home is higher in Washington, D.C., than in any state, even Hawaii, as we report in “How Much Is a Starter Home in Your State These Days?”
Hawaii might be the ideal retirement destination for many people, and South Dakota was named the best state to retire in by Bankrate last year. But the Aloha State and the Mount Rushmore State are among three states with the second-highest average retirement age in the nation.
Those states are:
- South Dakota
Incidentally, Hawaii and Massachusetts have the highest and fifth-highest cost of living, respectively, according to the MERIC ranking. South Dakota, however, ranks in the middle of the pack among U.S. states based on its cost of living.
The big 6-5 isn’t just the traditional retirement age. It’s also the most common average retirement age among U.S. states, shared by 15 of them.
Those states are:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
Sixty-four is the average retirement age in 11 states — including the one that WalletHub rated as the best U.S. state for retirees in 2019.
Those 11 states are:
- New York
Age 63 is the third-lowest average retirement age by state, and it’s shared by a dozen states.
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
Seven states share the second-lowest average retirement age, 62, which also happens to be the age at which you generally become eligible to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits:
- New Mexico
Two states enjoy the distinction of having the nation’s lowest average retirement age of 61:
- West Virginia
Are you surprised by the average retirement age in your state? Share your thoughts by commenting below or on the Money Talks News Facebook page.
Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.