75% of 65+ Men Retired Today vs 25% in 1880

retirement statistics

In the “shocking statistics” category, I wanted to post the following quote in this Morningstar article on the US retirement savings crisis:

The notion of retiring is a recent phenomenon. In 1880, roughly 75% of men 65 years and older were still working. Life expectancy (at birth) was about 45 years. Today only about 25% of men 65 years and older are still working, and life expectancy is 78 and climbing.[1] People are actually retiring!

Statistics like this should help put our idea of “retirement age” in context.

When checking for other retirement “shocking statistics” I thought I had already posted, there was one I’ve often repeated but realized hasn’t been posted on this site yet, from WiserWomen.org and quoted in this MarketWatch article: 80% of men die married, 80% of women die single.ย  This statistic sounds a little too round and too neat, so probably should be checked against this Harvard article.