Research

40% of Older Workers and Their Spouses Will Experience Downward Mobility

February 14, 2018

Inadequate retirement accounts will cause 8.5 million middle-class older workers and their spouses to be downwardly mobile, falling into poverty or near poverty in their old age.

Key Findings:

  • Two in five - or 40% - of older workers and their spouses will be downwardly mobile in retirement.
  • If workers ages 50-60 retire at age 62, 8.5 million people are projected to fall below twice the Federal Poverty Level, with retirement incomes below $23,340 for singles and $31,260 for couples.
  • 2.6 million of 8.5 downwardly mobile workers and their spouses will have incomes below the poverty level – $11,670 for an individual and $15,730 for a two-person household.
  • A typical single worker in the middle 40% of earners (earning $25,000-$64,000) can expect an annual income of $18,000 if they retire at age 62, the most common age of retirement.
  • Couples in the middle 40% of earnings (earning $44,000-$105,000) can expect an annual income of $29,500 if workers retire at age 62.

 

Author: Teresa Ghilarducci, Michael Papadopoulos, Anthony Webb
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SCEPA works to focus the public economics debate on the role government can and should play in the real productive economy - that of business, management, and labor - to raise living standards, create economic security, and attain full employment.