The number of states with more than 30 percent of older households experiencing a housing cost burden increased from 14 in 2000 to 31 in 2012.
Nearly every state is falling short in key areas that measure retirement readiness, according to a new report issued by the National Institute on Retirement Security.
The state-by-state analysis gauges the relative performance of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in three areas vital to retirement readiness. The study is designed “to serve as a tool for policymakers to help identify potential areas of focus for state-based policy interventions to improve Americans’ retirement prospects,” the NIR said in a statement. “Now, policymakers can identify the most urgent priorities for addressing the looming financial security challenges of the aging populations in their state.”
Those priorities, the report states, are anticipated retirement income, major retirement costs such as housing and healthcare and labor market conditions for older workers. Ac
Some states are more retirement ready than others. Wyoming, Alaska, Minnesota and North Dakota rank highest on the study’s State Financial Security Scorecard. Faring the worst among states measured to be “worse than average” for retirement readiness are California, Florida and South Carolina
But there is “room for improvement” in every state. No state ranks in the top group of states on all eight scorecard variables, including the ease with which people save for retirement (workplace retirement plan participation), state income tax, Medicare out-of-pocket costs, and unemployment rates and media hourly wages. For every state, at least one indicator of potential retirement income is lower, one measure of retiree costs is higher or one labor market variable is worse than in at least one other state, the report finds.
For example, the highest ranking state for workplace retirement plan participation in 2012 had only 54 percent of private employees participating in a pension or 401(k). In addition, the number of states with more than 30 percent of older households experiencing a housing cost burden increased from 14 in 2000 to 31 in 2012.
Of particular concern is that older workers suffered more from higher unemployment and lower wages in the lower-ranked states than they did previously. “Short-term disruptions such as recessions can have serious longer-term consequences for the economic security of an aging population that has limited time to accumulate additional resources for retirement,” the report states.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.