U.S. News and World Report recently published an article on the four most important sources of income for retirees. The statistics revealed in the study are worth bearing in mind if you are contemplating retirement soon.

In 2012, the current total median income, for those 65 years of age and older was $25,757, according to a new Social Security Administration report. The most common retirement income level is between $15,000 and $19,999 annually, an income range that 12.6% of retirees fall into.

For most people, Social Security is the largest source of retirement income. The majority of retirees (65%) get half or more of their income from Social Security. And over a third of people aged 65 and older receive at least 90% of their income from a monthly Social Security payment.  Some people delay receiving social security retirement benefits past their “full” retirement age in order to get bigger monthly checks. Almost all seniors who were aged 80 and older in 2010 (92%) received a Social Security check. The median Social Security payment amount was $15,701/year in 2010.
 

Approximately half of seniors received interest from assets held in bonds, treasury notes, IRAs, certificates of deposit, and interest-bearing savings and checking accounts in 2010. And 19% of retirees received dividend payments from stock holdings and mutual fund shares. Some seniors also bring in extra retirement income by renting out property or earn royalties from work done earlier in their career (9%). However, most retirees receive only a small amount of income from these assets. The median asset income was just $1,260 in 2010.

Some current retirees still have access to private pensions or annuities (27%) or public pensions (15%), such as those provided by the military or federal, state, or local government. The median pension received by those aged 65 and older was worth $12,700 in 2010. Government employee pensions generally paid considerably higher annual benefits ($20,000) than private pensions and annuities ($8,844) in 2010.

Finally, many retirees are finding that they simply must continue to work during what has traditionally been thought of as their retirement years.

Just over a 26% of Americans aged 65 and older held a paid job or were self-employed in 2010. People who work at age 65 and older earned a median income of $28,000 in 2010, considerably less than the median of $45,000 earned by people age 62 to 64 and the $54,000 workers age 55 to 61 were paid.

Leslie A. Mitnick is a member of Stark & Stark’s Yardley, PA office, specializing in Accident & Personal Injury Law. For more information, please contact Ms. Mitnick.