POST 50
06/10/2013 12:06 pm ET

Senior Citizens' Income Falls Short In 48 States, Study Finds

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Seniors in almost every state in the nation are coming up short when it comes to being able to adequately pay for their retirement years, according to a study released Monday.

Most financial planners agree that retirees need 70 percent of their pre-retirement annual income if they wish to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in their golden years. Yet, across the country, seniors are living off a median household income of $35,107, or only 57 percent of the median income of their younger counterparts aged 45 to 64, according to an analysis of 2011 U.S. Census Bureau data by Interest.com, a financial information website owned by Bankrate.com. Only those in Nevada (70.72 percent) and Hawaii (70.06 percent) reached the coveted 70 percent threshold.

Interest.com found that seniors in 48 of the 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) are falling short. Seniors in Massachusetts face the most dramatic income gap in the country; as a group, they are only replacing 45 percent of younger adults’ incomes.

“People who live in a given area are competing with each other for the same goods and services, including housing, cars and groceries,” said Mike Sante, managing editor of Interest.com, in a press release. “This is why we thought it would be useful to compare younger and older adults’ incomes in each state. We found that many senior citizens are significantly underfunded and risk running out of money, especially since people are living longer than they used to and may need to support a two- or three-decade retirement.”

Those who are 65 and older are able to replace at least 60 percent of their younger counterparts’ annual incomes in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Arizona (68.10 percent), New Mexico (66.89 percent) and Florida (66.86 percent) round out the top five along with Nevada and Hawaii.

In the four lowest-ranking states -– New Jersey (49.53 percent), Rhode Island (48.20 percent), North Dakota (48.17 percent) and Massachusetts (45.21 percent) -– people age 65 and older are unable to cover even half of their younger population's incomes.

Nationally, the average income for those who are 65 and older is the same as only 57 percent of the average income for 45- to 64-year-olds. Financial planners say this shouldn't really be a surprise. Social Security is the main source of income for a majority of retired Americans -– not pensions or retirement savings -– which is one reason so many seniors lack money. The average Social Security payment for a retired worker at the start of 2012 was only $1,230 a month -- or $14,760 a year.

Another study published last year also revealed grim results, predicting that the average baby boomer would fall far short on their necessary retirement income-- about 44 percent short.

Check out the Interest.com state-by-state results by going here.

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