What’s the retirement age?

The average retirement age in the United States varies across states. Find out the average retirement age in each state.

3 min read

Retirement represents a transition from the workplace to non-work roles like family and leisure. For most people, retirement is a personal decision, but each state has rules on when workers can retire. Depending on your health and financial ability, you can choose to retire early or wait until you reach the state retirement age.

On average, the retirement age in the different US states is 64. Alaska and West Virginia have the lowest retirement age of 61 years, while the District of Columbia has the highest retirement age of 67. California and Texas, which are some of the most populous US states, have an average retirement age of 64 and 65 respectively.

Average retirement age in every state

Living a comfortable retirement requires a large chunk of money to finance your expenses in retirement. With each state having different costs of living, where you live can affect your retirement age due to healthcare needs, cost of living, and employment opportunities.

Typically, states in the North East like New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the highest average retirement age above the national average while states like Alaska, Arkansas, and New Mexico have a lower retirement age below the national average.

Here is the retirement age in each state:

Alabama: 62 years

Alaska: 61 years

Arizona: 63 years

Arkansas: 62 years

California: 64 years

Colorado: 65 years

Connecticut: 65 years

Delaware: 63 years

District of Columbia: 67 years

Florida: 64 years

Georgia: 63 years

Hawaii: 66 years

Idaho: 64 years

Illinois: 64 years

Indiana: 63 years

Iowa: 65 years

Kansas: 65 years

Kentucky: 62 years

Louisiana: 62 years

Maine: 63 years

Maryland: 65 years

Massachusetts: 66 years

Michigan: 62 years

Minnesota: 65 years

Mississippi: 63 years

Missouri: 63 years

Montana: 64 years

Nebraska: 65 years

Nevada: 63 years

New Hampshire: 65 years

New Jersey: 65 years

New Mexico: 62 years

New York: 64 years

North Carolina: 63 years

North Dakota: 65 years

Ohio: 63 years

Oklahoma: 62 years

Oregon: 63 years

Pennsylvania: 64 years

Rhode Island: 65 years

South Carolina: 63 years

South Dakota: 66 years

Tennessee: 64 years

Texas: 65 years

Utah: 65 years

Vermont: 65 years

Virginia: 65 years

Washington: 64 years

West Virginia: 61 years

Wisconsin: 64 years

Wyoming: 64 years

What is the full retirement age?

The full retirement age (FRA) is the age when you can start collecting benefits from social security. The FRA ranges from 66 to 67, and it varies based on the year of birth. If you were born in 1955, the FRA is 66 and two months, or 67 for those born in 1960 or later.

FRA represents the age when you can claim the full benefit from social security. If you claim your social security benefits earlier than your FRA, you will receive reduced benefits permanently. In contrast, waiting until when you are 70 will yield the highest benefits. However, waiting beyond age 70 won’t have any additional benefits for you.

Most people rely on Social Security benefits as the primary source of retirement income, but it can be a supplemental source of income if you have alternative sources of retirement income such as pension income and retirement plan distributions.

What is the average retirement age in the US?

According to a Gallup study in 2022, the average retirement age in the United States has increased from 58 in 2002 to 61 in 2022. While most American workers plan to retire in their mid-60s, it could be earlier or later depending on their lifestyle, health, location, and the amount they have saved. 

At 61, it means that most workers are retiring earlier than planned either due to failing health, layoffs, and other unexpected circumstances. Unless you have accumulated enough savings to afford your retirement, retiring at 61 means that you could end up struggling financially. Also, when you start tapping your retirement savings relatively early, you risk depleting these funds prematurely. You will be forced to rely on your savings before you become eligible to claim social security benefits.

What age is considered early for retirement?

Retiring any earlier than 65 is considered early retirement. 65 is the age when you can take Medicare benefits. Typically, you become eligible for Medicare benefits on the first day of the month when you turn 65. If you choose to retire early, you won’t get access to Medicare, and you will need to find alternative insurance coverage until when Medicare kicks in.

If you have a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or other retirement plans, you may get access to your retirement savings as soon as you reach 59 ½. You won't pay a penalty tax on these withdrawals, but you will pay income taxes on the distributions you take. If you leave your employer in the year when you turn 55, you can access your retirement savings penalty-free; you will only pay income taxes on the withdrawals.

Late retirement: Retiring after age 70

If you love your job and you are still healthy, you can decide to delay your retirement until when you reach 70 to boost your retirement income. Waiting until age 70 to claim social security gives you the highest possible benefits. If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your social security benefits will increase by 132% when you delay taking benefits until age 70, or by 124% if you were born in 1960 or later.

If you plan to retire at 70, you will have more money to spend on things you love without worrying that you will run out of cash. Also, once you turn 72, you must start taking the minimum distributions from your retirement accounts based on your life expectancy.