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Retirees by the (Census) numbers

By Jennie L. Phipps ·
Friday, September 23, 2011
Posted: 7 am ET

The U.S. Census released some of the first statistics from the 2010 count, including population and income information about the population of people older than 60. It provides a snapshot of people living in retirement and the information will undoubtedly be used by many businesses and institutions considering retirement planning issues.

There are an estimated 58 million people older than 60 -- 45 percent are male and 55 percent are female. About 58 percent are married; 22 percent are widowed and 13 percent are divorced. Nearly 6 percent have never married.

About 47 percent live as part of a married couple. Another 8 percent are women heads of household with no male partner or husband. About 40 percent live alone.

The average annual income for households headed by people age 60 and over is a comfortable $55,827. Of those households, 77 percent receive an average of $17,161 a year in Social Security. Another 44 percent receive some other form of retirement income such as a pension, averaging $22,650 per year. Nearly 20 percent live below 150 percent of the poverty level, which is $21,855 for a family of two.

Some 79 percent own their own homes. On average, there are two people per household. The average value of these homes in $171,000. Those homeowners who have a mortgage pay a monthly average of $1,323 in total housing costs, while those homeowners who don't have a mortgage pay $425. People who rent pay an average of $721 per month.

Only 1.5 percent of those 60 and older don't have a phone. That sounds like a small percentage, although if you multiply that by the total, you get 87,000, which means there are about as many  people who are phone-less as live in Duluth, Minn.

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