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10 Surprising Facts About Retiring You Probably Didn’t Know

Michael Keenan
Mature couple embracing outdoors in city street.

It’s never too early to start thinking about how you want to spend your time — and your money — in retirement. No matter if you’re hoping to retire as early as possible or plan to work until you can’t, having a plan for how you want to spend your senior years helps make sure your dreams come true.

Fortunately, there are some surprising and interesting facts that could help you make the most of your golden years. From social security rules to insights on investments, learn how to make your retirement easy.

1. Social Security Won’t Cover All Your Expenses

Ignoring whether or not Social Security will still be solvent when it’s time for you to claim your benefits, Social Security isn’t designed to be your only source of income during your golden years. According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security benefits are only intended to replace about 40 percent of your income from when you were working.

Bookmark This: 17 Clever Ways to Save More for Retirement

2. Social Security Might Not Be Taxed by Your State

The IRS taxes up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefits, but depending on where you live, you might not have to pay state income taxes on your Social Security benefits. Only thirteen states impose state income taxes on all or a portion of your benefits: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.

3. Travel Is the Second Most Unexpected Expense in Retirement

Although 43 percent of retired boomers said they were spending more than expected on healthcare costs, travel costs were also something they didn’t adequately budget for, according to a recent study by Capital Group. In fact, 40 percent of retired boomers said that travel costs in retirement were higher than they had anticipated.

Check Out: Our Road to Retirement — Driving the US to Find the Best Places to Retire

4. The IRS Offers Free Tax Help for Seniors

You probably won’t look forward to doing your taxes in retirement any more than when you were younger, but the IRS has a special program, Tax Counseling for the Elderly, to provide free tax assistance age 60 and older. You can get answers to questions, and some programs can even prepare your return for you.

5. Retirees Could Still Be Paying Off Student Loans

If you think you won’t have to worry about student loans in retirement, you could be wrong. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the number of older student loan borrowers — defined as age 60 and older — increased by at least 20 percent in every state between 2012 and 2017. In more than half of states, the number increased by 46 percent or more during the same time period.

Discover: 15 Ways to Pay Off Your Student Loans

6. Retirees Are More Likely to Directly Own Stocks

On average, 54 percent of people ages 65 and older own stocks, according to a 2017 Gallup poll. However, it’s adults 30 to 64 years old who own the most stocks at 62 percent.

7. Retirees Can Still Save With Roth IRAs

Just because you quit your day job doesn’t mean all retirement plans are off-limits to you. As long as you have taxable compensation, including wages from a side job or self-employment income, you can contribute to a traditional IRA until the year you turn 70 ½ years old.

There’s no limit to how old you can be to contribute to a Roth IRA. But, there are limits to how much you can contribute to a Roth IRA.

8. Retirees Qualify for Additional Tax Breaks as They Age

As you get older, you qualify for additional tax breaks at both the state and federal levels. Seniors have a higher standard deduction, and 37 states don’t impose state income taxes on Social Security benefits. Potentially the weirdest of all: In New Mexico, if you make it to 100, you don’t have to pay state income taxes as long as no one else claims you as their dependent.

Up Next: The Most (and Least) Tax-Friendly States for Retirees

9. Seniors Think Green

According to a Statista survey, people ages 60 and older were the most committed to recycling. Further, the survey found that 48 percent of people ages 60 and older “always recycle” compared to 41 percent of people 30 to 59 years old, and 33 percent of people 18 to 29 years old.

10. Retirees Use Airbnb … and Cash In

Airbnb might seem like a millennial fad, but it’s also a great resource for people in their 60s. In fact, “the number of over 60s who have booked as guests” increased by 66 percent in 2017, according to an Airbnb press release. Also, seniors took home $2 billion that same year by serving as Airbnb hosts.

Click through to read answers to the most frequently asked Social Security questions.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 10 Surprising Facts About Retiring You Probably Didn’t Know

It’s never too early to start thinking about how you want to spend your time — and your money — in retirement. No matter if you’re hoping to retire as early as possible or plan to work until you can’t, having a plan for how you want to spend your senior years helps make sure your dreams come true.

Fortunately, there are some weird and interesting facts that could help you make the most out of retirement. Click through and see how you can make retirement easy.

1. Social Security Won’t Cover All Your Expenses

Ignoring whether Social Security will still be solvent when it’s time for you to claim your benefits, Social Security isn’t designed to be your only source of income during your golden years. According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security benefits are only intended to replace about 40 percent of your income from when you were working.

Bookmark This: 17 Clever Ways to Save More for Retirement

2. Older People Value Older Workers

Baby Boomers think that workers age 50 and older contribute more to the workplace than younger generations in a range of categories. For example, 51 percent of Baby Boomers think that older workers are more adept at solving problems, while only 22 percent of millennials think the same of Boomers.

3. Seniors Like Movies

People age 50 and older make up almost one-third of all trips to the movies in the United States, seeing an average of 6.8 movies per year, but 70 percent of the time they go before 7 p.m. And, as people get older, they tend to see more: According to AARP, people age 65 and older see 7.3 movies per year.

Are you a movie buff? Find out how to get cheap movie tickets.

4. Pennsylvania Has the Second-Highest Proportion of Seniors

Given its reputation, it’s no surprise that Florida has the largest percentage of its population as senior citizens at 17.3 percent according to the most recent 2010 census. However, the next two might surprise you: Pennsylvania at 15.4 percent and West Virginia at 16 percent.

5. Seniors Live Alone

According to the Institute on Aging, nearly one in three seniors who weren’t in a nursing home lived alone, with older women almost twice as likely to live alone than men. And, seniors get more isolated as they get older: Nearly one in two senior women over age 75 live alone.

Related: The Downsides of Retirement That Nobody Talks About

6. Who Matters More Than What

When asked which was more important, the leisure activity they were doing or the people they were doing it with, over 60 percent of respondents in a Merrill Lynch study said who they were doing it with mattered more than the things to do in retirement.

7. Retirees Relax More

Older people relax more, said Brian Saranovitz, co-founder of Your Retirement Advisor and investment advisor representative with Cetera Advisors. According to a Merrill Lynch study, only 41 percent of people age 25 to 34 reported often feeling relaxed, and over 70 percent of people age 65 and older reported often feeling relaxed.

8. Social Security Might Not Be Taxed by Your State

The IRS taxes up to 85 percent of your Social Security benefits, but depending on where you live, you might not have to pay state income taxes on your Social Security benefits. Only thirteen states impose state income taxes on all or a portion of your benefits: Colorado, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia.

Related: Are Social Security Benefits Taxable?

9. Retirees Love to Travel

According to a survey by AARP, 99 percent of Baby Boomers planned to travel for fun in 2017, with the average senior taking five trips. When you count people age 50 and older, the group spends about $125 billion on leisure travel each year, most likely at one of these top vacation spots for retirees.

10. Most Haven’t Budgeted for Trips

About two-thirds of retirees age 50 and older said they hadn’t budgeted for travel in retirement, according to a Merrill Lynch study. Plus, over 50 percent said they had done hardly any leisure travel planning for the year ahead, and only 10 percent said they had done a lot.

11. Retirees Think They Have Plenty of Life Left

Just because someone has retired doesn’t mean they expect to die in the near future. When the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies surveyed Baby Boomers, 21 percent expected to live between 90 and 99 and another 10 percent expected to live to age 100 years old or older.

Read: 36 Cheap Travel Trips for Everyone on a Budget

12. The IRS Offers Free Tax Help for Seniors

You probably won’t look forward to doing your taxes in retirement any more than when you were younger, but the IRS has a special program, Tax Counseling for the Elderly, to provide free tax assistance age 60 and older. You can get answers to questions, and some programs can even prepare your return for you.

13. TV Watching Becomes More Common

People age 65 and older watch the most TV per day of any age group according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey released in 2017. According to the survey, seniors spend about four hours per day watching TV, compared to two hours for people age 15 to 44.

14. Seniors Think Green

Almost 70 percent of people age 50 or older recycle regularly, and over 70 percent use energy efficient bulbs. But, only about one-third buy locally grown food and about 2 percent own or lease hybrid vehicles.

15. Retirees Could Still Be Paying Off Student Loans

If you think you won’t have to worry about student loans in retirement, you could be wrong. According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the number of older student loan borrowers – defined as age 60 and older – increased by at least 20 percent in every state between 2012 and 2017. In more than half of states, the number increased by 46 percent or more during the same time period.

16. Retirees Like Their Rewards Program

Over 80 percent of Boomers belong to at least one airline loyalty program and over 70 percent belong to a hotel loyalty program, according to AAPR. That’s about 10 percentage points higher than millennials in both categories.

Learn: Best Hotel and Airline Loyalty Club Deals

17. Retirees Use Airbnb

Over 1 million users of Airbnb are over age 60 around the world, reported a Merrill Lynch study, including 10 percent of hosts. These hosts make an average of $6,000 per year. Retirees can generate income by renting out a spare bedroom or guesthouse.

18. Retirees Are More Likely to Directly Own Stocks

According to the 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances, the Federal Reserve found that people age 75 and older were the most likely group to directly own stocks. People age 65 to 74 were the third most likely to own at 15.2 percent, just below the 55 to 64 age group at 15.5 percent directly owning stocks.

Learn: How to Buy Stocks Online

19. Retirement Doesn’t Mean You Stop Working

Over half – 54 percent – of Baby Boomers plan to keep working after they retire, according to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. But, it’s not all for financial reasons. Some Baby Boomers plan to keep working by choice so they can age well and stay busy.

20. Retirees Have Spending Money

Retirees are getting richer. According to the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finance, the average net worth for people age 55 to 64 is over $187,000. For people age 65 to 74, that figure increases to over $223,000, and for people age 75, their average net worth is almost $265,000.

Destinations: The 50 Cheapest Places to Retire

21. Retirees Part With Their Businesses

Business ownership is at 17.3 percent for both the 45 to 54 age group and the 55 to 64 age group, the highest of any age group according to the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finance. The percentage drops to 13.3 percent for people age 65 to 74 and then falls even further to 8.5 percent for people age 75 and older.

22. Cost of Living Matters Most to Retirees

The single biggest factor for Baby Boomers when picking where to live is the cost of living. According to the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 80 percent of Baby Boomers said it was a very important factor. The second most frequently selected very important factor was close proximity to family and friends.

23. Retirees Might Still Be Paying Mortgages

Over 35 percent of people age 65 to 74 are still paying off mortgages, according to the Federal Reserve’s 2016 Survey of Consumer Finance. Of respondents age 75 and older, less than one in four is still paying off a mortgage.

Learn: How to Pay Off Your Mortgage Early

24. Grandchildren Are Favorites

When it comes to leisure experiences, retirees prefer spending time with grandchildren over children. A Merrill Lynch survey asked respondents whether leisure experiences with their children or grandchildren are more enjoyable, and 60 percent of respondents picked grandchildren.

25. Access to Continuing Education Isn’t That Important

Retirees might think they’ll spend time going back to school or taking classes, but it doesn’t factor into decisions of where to live much for Baby Boomers. The Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies reports only 7 percent of Baby Boomers said that access to continuing education opportunities was a very important factor in deciding where to live.

26. Retirees Don’t Automatically Consider Themselves “Old”

When the Center for Retirement Studies asked Baby Boomers what age they considered someone “old,” 17 percent said between 70 and 79, and another 15 percent said between 80 and 89. However, a much larger group, 52 percent, said it depends on the person.

27. Retirees Aren’t Giving Up Their Keys

Car ownership statistics don’t decline much as people get older. Car ownership peaks at 89.1 percent for people age 45 to 54, declines a bit to 86.1 percent for people age 55 to 64, but then inched back up to 86.8 percent for people age 65 to 74 before falling to 82.2 percent for people age 75 and older. Now, retirees might not be driving their car as much – or at all – but they still own their cars.

28. Retirees Can Still Save With Roth IRAs

Just because you quit your day job doesn’t mean all retirement plans are off-limits to you. As long as you have taxable compensation, including wages from a side job or self-employment income, you can contribute to a traditional IRA until the year you turn 70 ½ years old.

There’s no limit to how old you can be to contribute to a Roth IRA. But, there are limits to how much you can contribute to a Roth IRA.

29. Credit Card Debt Goes Down, Eventually

The percentage of people age 65 to 74 have credit card debt is 42.1 percent, which is actually slightly higher than the 41.4 percent of the 55 to 64 age group. However, just over a quarter of people age 75 and older have credit card debt.

Learn: Make This the Year for Paying Off Your Debt — Here’s How

30. Retirees Value Friendships More Than Ever

Almost 80 percent of respondents age 65 and older agreed that staying connected with friends was important, the highest of any age group in the Merrill Lynch survey. The lowest was people aged 35 to 44, with just 58 percent saying staying connected with friends was important.

31. Retirees Qualify for Additional Tax Breaks as They Age

As you get older, you qualify for additional tax breaks at both the state and federal levels. Seniors have a higher standard deduction, and 37 states don’t impose state income taxes on Social Security benefits. Potentially the weirdest of all: In New Mexico, if you make it to 100, you don’t have to pay state income taxes as long as no one else claims you as their dependent.

Up Next: The Most (and Least) Tax-Friendly States for Retirees