Where Seniors Don't Retire
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How Many Seniors Still Work Past Retirement Age in Every State

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Where Seniors Don't Retire
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Working Through Retirement

Even when workers reach retirement age, retirement isn't always a given. Plenty of Americans will be required to work well past retirement age due to inadequate savings. Still others who are of retirement age will keep working simply because they enjoy it. But the reasons for continuing to work past retirement age can also vary depending on where you live. With help from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we found out just how many workers in each state are still on the job past age 65. And to provide an even fuller picture of life in each state for seniors, we’ve also included data from the America’s Health Rankings Senior Report 2019.

Related: 50 Great Jobs for Retirees

Alabama
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Alabama

Number of workers over 65: 130,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 16.5%
Roughly 66,000 of these workers are men, but many of Alabama's senior workers face significant challenges. According to the United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings, some 9.9% all adults over 65 here live in poverty, with 19.3% not knowing where their next meal is coming from.

Anchorage, Alaska
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Alaska

Number of workers over 65: 20,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 21.6%
About 7.4% of Alaska seniors live in poverty, and 14.1% are impacted by food insecurity. The 2019 report said that in the previous year alone, poverty among seniors had increased 76%, from 4.2% to 7.4% among those 65 and older. In addition, food insecurity among seniors in the state has risen 58% during the same time frame, increasing from 8.9% to 14.1% among seniors.

Arizona
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Arizona

Number of workers over 65: 181,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 15.1%
Arizona is a retirement destination, but roughly 9% of seniors here live in poverty, with almost 18.9% unsure where they'll get their next meal. The report said in 2019 that over the past five years, food insecurity among seniors in the state had increased from 12.3% to 18.9%. That’s an increase of 54%.

Arkansas
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Arkansas

Number of workers over 65: 84,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 16.5%
Roughly 10.2% of seniors live in poverty, and 17.5% experience food insecurity. However, over four years, food insecurity in the state actually decreased 31%, declining from 25.4% to the current 17.5% among seniors, the 2019 report said.

California
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California

Number of workers over 65: 1.1 million
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.8%
Roughly 10.2% of California seniors live in poverty, and about 14.1% have to scrounge for their next meal. Just 20% of the state’s seniors are physically inactive, (which makes it the No.1, best ranked state in the nation in this category) while 65.3% of the state’s seniors are able bodied and just 7.6% percent report experiencing frequent mental distress.

Breckenridge, Colorado
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Colorado

Number of workers over 65: 193,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 24%
Nearly a quarter of seniors here are still in the workforce, while 79% are physically active (second-best in the country), and 67.7% are able-bodied. Over the previous two years, however, poverty increased 11%, spiking from 7% to 7.8% among adults 65 and over, the report noted in 2019.

Mystic, Connecticut
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Connecticut

Number of workers over 65: 138,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 23.1%
Connecticut has a 7.1% poverty rate among those 65 and older. The level of food insecurity in the state is 12.2%. The number of able-bodied seniors in Connecticut is 70.4%, which is the second-highest in the nation.

Delaware
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Delaware

Number of workers over 65: 29,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 15.8%
Poverty among seniors is 8.5%. About 11.2% of the seniors here live with food insecurity. On the bright side, the percentage of able-bodied seniors in Delaware, (71.2), is the highest in the country.

Florida
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Florida

Number of workers over 65: 744,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.2%
Florida is yet another retirement haven with no income tax. But the state has a 10.2% poverty rate among seniors, with nearly 11.3% unsure where they will get their next meal. Over six years, food insecurity decreased a notable 32%, from 16.6% to 11.3% among seniors, the report said in 2019.

Atlanta
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Georgia

Number of workers over 65: 288,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.4%
About 10.1% of seniors in Georgia live in poverty, with 18% unsure how they will keep themselves fed. About 34.9% of seniors are considered physically inactive here, among the worst levels in the country.

Hawaii
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Hawaii

Number of workers over 65: 56,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.1%
Hawaii is the top ranked state in the America’s Health Ranking Senior Report for 2019. Roughly 9.3% of Hawaiian seniors live in poverty, while 9.6% aren't certain how they will provide themselves with food. The state’s strengths among seniors include a low prevalence of obesity; high percentage of four- and five-star nursing home beds; and a low early death rate.

Idaho
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Idaho

Number of workers over 65: 48,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.3%
About 8.1% of seniors here live in poverty, while 8.5% struggle with food security. Making matters worse, just 64.3% are considered able-bodied, making work a challenge for a significant share of Idaho seniors.

Illinois
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Illinois

Number of workers over 65: 378,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19.5%
The poverty rate among seniors in Illinois is 8.6%, while food insecurity is 13.1%. About 67.1% of seniors here are considered able-bodied. The state also has a very low percentage of frequent mental distress among its senior population.

Indiana
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Indiana

Number of workers over 65: 197,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19%
While the poverty rate here is low at 7.7%, there are indications that Indiana seniors are struggling to stay above that line. About 15.4% of seniors in this state worry about their next meal, while just 64.1% are able-bodied.

Iowa
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Iowa

Number of workers over 65: 127,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 24.7%
Iowa has a 6.6% poverty rate among seniors, making it the third lowest in the country. There’s a 10.2% food insecurity rate in the state among seniors, and 69.8% of seniors here able-bodied.

Kansas
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Kansas

Number of workers over 65: 103,00
Percentage of seniors still working: 22.2%
There’s a 7.3% poverty rate among seniors here, and the rate of food insecurity is 10.2%. Only 6.5% report severe mental distress and 64.1% of seniors in Kansas remain able-bodied.

Kentucky
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Kentucky

Number of workers over 65: 130,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.0%
About 10.3% of Kentucky seniors live in poverty (fifth-worst in the nation), 16.6% don't know when their next meal is coming (11th-worst), just 59.5% are able-bodied (fifth-worst), just 31.7% are in high health (also second-worst) and 36.5% are physically inactive (second-worst).

Louisiana
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Louisiana

Number of workers over 65: 128,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.6%
Louisiana's seniors have every reason to stay on the job. The 12% poverty rate among seniors is the third-worst in the country, while the 21.7% figure for seniors who don't know where their next meal is coming from is the worst rate in the country.

Maine
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Maine

Number of workers over 65: 48,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 16.9%
The 49.7% of seniors here in high health is third-best in the nation, which is good, since a whole lot of the 65.4% of able-bodied seniors here will have to work: Poverty among seniors in this state sits at 8.1%, while another 14.3% suffer from food insecurity.

Maryland
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Maryland

Number of workers over 65: 245,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 26.9%
Maryland has a 7.9% poverty rate among seniors and an 11.4% food insecurity rate. About 68.8% of seniors in Maryland consider themselves able-bodied (seventh-best in the nation).

Massachusetts
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Massachusetts

Number of workers over 65: 277,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 25.8%
Poverty affects 9% of seniors, and food insecurity sits at 12%. But with 67.4% of Massachusetts seniors considered able-bodied and 45.6% in high health, that's a large senior population that isn't being forced out of the workplace by physical ailments.

Michigan
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Michigan

Number of workers over 65: 283,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17%
The 65.6% of able-bodied seniors in this state are doing what they can to keep above water. Though 8.5% live in poverty, 13.8% worry about where their next meal is coming from.

Minnesota
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Minnesota

Number of workers over 65: 205,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 23.7%
Minnesota seniors are an impressive lot — about 68.8 are able-bodied, while 47.8% are in high health. In fairness, it helps that poverty among seniors here is just 7%, while just 8.5% worry about going hungry.

Mississippi River bridge at Vicksburg, Mississippi
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Mississippi

Number of workers over 65: 68,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 15.1%
Just 57.4% of seniors in Mississippi are able-bodied, and more of them are physically inactive (34.9%) than in high health (31%). Meanwhile, 13.7% live in poverty (worst in the nation) and 19.8% don't know how they'll feed themselves (fourth-worst in the nation.)

Missouri
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Missouri

Number of workers over 65: 212,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.7%
About 8.7% of Missouri seniors live in poverty and 12.6% suffer from food insecurity. But the number of working seniors is bolstered by the 38.7% in high health among just 62.9% who are considered able-bodied.

Montana
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Montana

Number of workers over 65: 41,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19.4%
Though the number of able-bodied Montana seniors is a middling 65.8%, the 46.8% in high health have a lot to work for. About 7.2% of seniors in the state live in poverty and 10.8% suffer food insecurity.

Nebraska
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Nebraska

Number of workers over 65: 70,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 23.9%
About 44.2% of Nebraska seniors are in high health, which makes them a particularly active bunch. However, 13.2% of Nebraska seniors don't know how they'll eat next. The poverty rate among Nebraska seniors is 7.2%.

Nevada
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Nevada

Number of workers over 65: 108,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 21.6%
About 8.5% of seniors here live in poverty, while about 14.4% experience some sort of food insecurity.

New Hampshire
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New Hampshire

Number of workers over 65: 53,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 22.4%
The Live Free or Die State gets busy living. About 5.8% of New Hampshire seniors live in poverty (the lowest rate in the nation). In addition, 67.6% remain able bodied and 32.3% are engaged in volunteering. The food insecurity rate is 13.6%.

New Jersey
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New Jersey

Number of workers over 65: 331,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 22%
While 8.4% of New Jersey seniors live in poverty, another 12.4% don't know where they'll get their next meal. Unfortunately, 34.8% of New Jersey seniors are physically inactive, while the 41% in high health ranks among the bottom half of all states.

New Mexico
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New Mexico

Number of workers over 65: 62,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.3%
New Mexico's working seniors face some of the largest obstacles of any group in the nation. With 12.2% of all seniors here living in poverty (second-worst in the country) and 20.2% not knowing where their next meal is coming from (third-worst in the country), there's plenty of incentive to keep working. Unfortunately, just 61.8% are able-bodied, and only 37.3% are in high health.

New York
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New York

Number of workers over 65: 679,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.1%
New York is incredibly tough on seniors. There are 11.4% of New York seniors living in poverty (fourth-worst in the nation) and 14% dealing with food insecurity. While 67.6% are considered able-bodied, just 42.3% are in high health.

North Carolina
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North Carolina

Number of workers over 65: 309,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.9%
Nearly 20.5% of North Carolina seniors don't know where they're getting their next meal (second-worst in the nation), while 9.1% live in poverty. It's great that a higher percentage volunteers (32.7%) than works, but just 64.8% are able-bodied, and only 38.3% are in high health.

North Dakota
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North Dakota

Number of workers over 65: 224,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 21.9%
Poverty among seniors is 9.9%. Of the 69.6% of seniors here who are able-bodied, 38.7% volunteer their time, though just 41.5% are in high health.

Ohio
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Ohio

Number of workers over 65: 351,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.7%
With 7.7% of Ohio seniors living in poverty and 13.1% unsure how they'll get their next meal, the percentage of working seniors seems fairly low. Of course, having a senior population that's 35.3% physically inactive doesn't help.

Oklahoma
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Oklahoma

Number of workers over 65: 129,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.2%
While 9.1% of Oklahoma seniors live in poverty, more than 16.6% are worried about finding their next meal. About 58.1% of seniors qualify as able-bodied — ranking the state fourth-worst in the nation.

Oregon
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Oregon

Number of workers over 65: 150,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.7%
While just 64.8% of seniors here are considered able-bodied, 45.2% are in high health. While that helps the 8.7% living in poverty, it's also vital for the 12.8% who don't know where their next meal is coming from.

Pennsylvania
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Pennsylvania

Number of workers over 65: 495,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.7%
Another state where the number of seniors in poverty is relatively low (8.5%), but the number having a hard time keeping themselves fed is fairly high (16.5%). About 8.1% experience frequent mental distress, with 65.8% still considered able-bodied.

Rhode Island
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Rhode Island

Number of workers over 65: 34,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.8%
More than 9% of Rhode Island seniors live in poverty, with 13.6% struggling to afford their next meal. Yet more than 68% are able-bodied, with 45% in high health, making seniors a valuable, viable part of the workforce.

South Carolina
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South Carolina

Number of workers over 65: 161,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17%
The 9.2% of South Carolina seniors in poverty is exacerbated by the 8.8% in frequent mental distress. Just 65% are able-bodied, and only 39.6% are in high health. About 16.9% aren't sure about where their next meal is coming from.

South Dakota
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South Dakota

Number of workers over 65: BLS data incomplete
Percentage of seniors still working: BLS data incomplete
The Bureau of Labor Statistics data on working seniors here is incomplete. But about 8% of South Dakota seniors live in poverty, and 11.1% experience food insecurity.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee
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Tennessee

Number of workers over 65: 217,00
Percentage of seniors still working: 19.4%
Seniors here are hardly in working shape. Only 61.2 are able-bodied, and more are physically inactive (33%) than in high health (32.6%). With 9.2% in poverty and more than 15.9% struggling just to eat, more would work if they had the chance.

Texas
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Texas

Number of workers over 65: 744,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.2%
The 10.8% poverty rate among seniors here is the fifth-highest in the country. The state’s food insecurity rate among seniors is 16.5%. About 62.77% of seniors here are able-bodied, with just 37.2% in high health.

Utah
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Utah

Number of workers over 65: 77,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.4%
It isn't surprising to see 1 in 5 Utahn seniors still working. More than 44.5% are in high health and only 25.8% are physically inactive. Just 6.4% of the state’s seniors live in poverty (second-lowest in the country).

Vermont
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Vermont

Number of workers over 65: 33,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 25.6%
About 68% of Vermont seniors are able-bodied and 49.3% are in high health, which helps explain why more than 33.6% also volunteer. About 7.1% of the state’s seniors live in poverty, while 10.4% experience food insecurity.

Virginia
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Virginia

Number of workers over 65: 235,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 24.7%
About 67.4% of seniors here are able-bodied enough to remain in the workforce, though just 7.1% live in poverty. About 11.4% are wondering where their next meal is coming from.

Washington
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Washington

Number of workers over 65: 203,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.9%
Just 21.3% of seniors here are physically inactive. About 8% of Washington’s seniors live in poverty and 10.3% trying not to worry about eating regularly, meaning the state’s seniors aren't necessarily working just to fill the hours.

West Virginia
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West Virginia

Number of workers over 65: 57,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 16%
When just 55.9% of seniors are able-bodied (worst in the country), only 32% are in high health and nearly 10% are in frequent mental distress about all of the above, it can be difficult to stay on the job. Unfortunately, with 10.2% of West Virginia seniors living in poverty and 19.4% worried about their next meal, many seniors here don't have much of a choice.

Wisconsin
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Wisconsin

Number of workers over 65: 192,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19.1%
While the 69.2% of Wisconsin seniors considered able-bodied are among the healthiest in the country, the Badger State has 7.8% living in poverty and 11.1% suffering from food insecurity — figures that are lower than average. Overall, however, Wisconsin seniors can generally keep working if they want or need to.

Wyoming
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Wyoming

Number of workers over 65: 12,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 21.3%
About 8.4% of seniors live in poverty in Wyoming, and 11% worry about their next meal. However, 42.3% of seniors here are in high health and 61.6% are able bodied.