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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SUPER SENIORS

Even when workers reach retirement age, retirement isn't always a given. Bankrate.com discovered that 70 percent of non-retired Americans plan to work as long as possible during retirement. Only 2 percent say they have no plans to work during retirement. Of those who plan to work as long as possible, 38 percent say it's because they like to work; 35 percent need the money; and 27 percent say it's a mix. But the reasons can also vary depending on where you live and your financial situation. With help from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we found out just how many workers in each state were still on the job past age 65 and some of the reasons that might be.

Alabama
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ALABAMA


Number of workers over 65: 119,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 15.7 percent
Roughly 66,000 of these workers are men, but all of Alabama's senior workers face significant challenges. According to the United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings, a tenth of all adults over 65 here live in poverty, with 18 percent not knowing where their next meal is coming from.

Anchorage, Alaska
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ALASKA


Number of workers over 65: 23,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 27.2 percent
Roughly the same percentage of men and women are still working, but not necessarily because they have to. Just 4.2 percent of Alaskan seniors live in poverty, and those that do get an annual national-best average $3,672 from the state government. Plus, there's no income tax or state sales tax. So why work? Because roughly 78 percent of all seniors here are physically active, the fourth-best rate in the country.

Arizona
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ARIZONA


Number of workers over 65: 171,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 15.2 percent
Arizona is a retirement destination, but nearly equal amounts of male and female seniors here still work in some capacity. Roughly 9 percent of seniors live in poverty, with almost 18 percent unsure where they'll get their next meal.

Arkansas
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ARKANSAS


Number of workers over 65: 81,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 16.3 percent
Don't let that low figure fool you: More seniors in Arkansas would work if they could. Roughly 10.5 percent of seniors live in poverty, but just 60 percent are able-bodied (the fifth-worst rate in the country). As a result, a full 36 percent (the third-worst in the United States) are physically inactive.

California
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CALIFORNIA


Number of workers over 65: 1 million
Percentage of seniors still working: 16.3 percent
More senior men work in this state than women, but all face significant obstacles in retirement. Roughly 10.3 percent of California seniors live in poverty, which is seventh-worst in the nation. While just 23 percent are physically inactive, 14.3 percent have to scrounge for their next meal.

Breckenridge, Colorado
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COLORADO


Number of workers over 65: 176,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 22.6 percent
Seniors here are incredibly active, which could explain why nearly a quarter are still in the workforce. With 80.5 percent of seniors physically active (second-best in the country), 69 percent able-bodied (fourth-best in the nation), and just 7.6 percent living in poverty (ninth-best), Colorado's seniors are just keeping sharp.

Mystic, Connecticut
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CONNECTICUT


Number of workers over 65: 135,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 23.8 percent
Connecticut seniors also tend to do well for themselves. The 6.5 percent poverty rate among those 65 and older is third-lowest in the country, while the 68 percent who are considered able-bodied are eighth-best in the nation.

Delaware
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DELAWARE


Number of workers over 65: 30,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.5 percent
Poverty among seniors is low here (6.9 percent, or No. 5 nationwide), while the percentage of able-bodied seniors (68.9) is second-highest in the country. Unfortunately, the number of seniors considered physically inactive (nearly 30 percent) ranks among the bottom half of U.S. states.

Fort Myers Beach, Florida
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FLORIDA


Number of workers over 65: 691,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.6 percent
Florida is yet another retirement haven with no income tax. But Florida's 10.4 percent poverty rate among seniors is the eighth-highest in the nation, with nearly 14 percent unsure where they will get their next meal.

Atlanta
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GEORGIA


Number of workers over 65: 257,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19.2 percent
More than 10 percent of Georgia seniors live in poverty, with 18.1 percent unsure how they will keep themselves fed. Both of those rank among the bottom 10 states in the nation, while the 37 percent of seniors considered physically inactive here is second-worst in the country.

Hawaii
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HAWAII


Number of workers over 65: 50,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.8 percent
Roughly 9 percent of Hawaiian seniors live in poverty, while 12 percent aren't certain how they'll provide themselves with food. But Hawaii is also home to some of the most active seniors in the country, with 76 percent physically active.

Idaho
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IDAHO


Number of workers over 65: 37,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 14.9 percent
A full 10 percent of seniors here live in poverty, while a similar percentage struggle with food security. Making matters worse, just 64 percent are considered able-bodied, making work a challenge for more than a third of all Idaho seniors.

Illinois
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ILLINOIS


Number of workers over 65: 366,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19.7 percent
Poverty among Illinois seniors has increased 8 percent within the past year, while food insecurity is up 22 percent in the past five years. While two-thirds are able-bodied, more than 7 percent report severe mental distress.

Indiana
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INDIANA


Number of workers over 65: 147,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 15.4 percent
While the poverty rate here is low at 7.7 percent, there are indications that Indiana seniors are struggling to stay above that line. About 18 percent of seniors in this state worry about their next meal (seventh-worst in the nation), while just 63 percent are able-bodied enough to do anything about it.

Iowa
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IOWA


Number of workers over 65: 110,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.9 percent
The 6.9 percent poverty rate among Iowa seniors is fifth-lowest in the country, while the 11 percent who worry about meals are still faring better than about 80 percent of the nation's seniors. With 68 percent of seniors here able-bodied and 46 percent in high health, Iowa's seniors are just keeping themselves busy.

Kansas
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KANSAS


Number of workers over 65: 99,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 23.4 percent
While the 8 percent poverty rate among seniors and the 13.4 percent of seniors worried about feeding themselves isn't great, only 5.6 percent report severe mental distress. The 65 percent of able-bodied seniors here ranks in the bottom half of U.S. states, but it's enough to keep a quarter of seniors here in the workforce.

Kentucky
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KENTUCKY


Number of workers over 65: 108,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 15.3 percent
This is yet another state in which more seniors would work if they could. More than 11 percent live in poverty (fourth-worst in the nation), 18 percent don't know when their next meal is coming (12th-worst), just 58 percent are able-bodied (second-worst), just 33 percent are in high health (also second-worst) and 36 percent are physically inactive (third-worst).

Louisiana
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LOUISIANA


Number of workers over 65: 130,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.4 percent
Louisiana's seniors have every reason to stay on the job. The 13 percent poverty rate among seniors is the worst in the country, while the 23.4 percent of seniors who don't know where their next meal is coming from is second-worst. Only 60 percent are physically able to work, just 36 percent are in high health, and more than 35 percent are physically inactive.

Maine
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MAINE


Number of workers over 65: 47,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.8 percent
The 47.6 percent of seniors here in high health is fifth-best in the nation, which is good, since a whole lot of the 67 percent of able-bodied seniors here will have to work: Poverty among seniors in this state sits at 9.1 percent, while another 15.6 percent suffer from food insecurity.

Maryland
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MARYLAND


Number of workers over 65: 204,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 23.9 percent
Relatively speaking, the 8.2 percent poverty rate and 11.2 percent food insecurity among seniors here is better than in much of the country. But combine that with the 69 percent of seniors in Maryland who consider themselves able-bodied (fourth-best in the nation) and you see how much work seniors have to put in just to get by.

Boston, MA
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MASSACHUSETTS


Number of workers over 65: 238,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 21.9 percent
Similar to Maryland, poverty (affecting 8 percent of seniors) and food insecurity (affecting 10.5 percent) are relatively low. But with 68 percent of Massachusetts seniors considered able-bodied and 47 percent in high health, that's a large senior population that isn't being forced out of the workplace by physical ailments.

Detroit
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MICHIGAN


Number of workers over 65: 251,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 15.6 percent
The 65 percent of able-bodied seniors in this state are doing what they can to keep above water. Though 8.1 percent live in poverty, 13.3 percent worry about where their next meal is coming from.

Minnesota
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MINNESOTA


Number of workers over 65: 184,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 22.6 percent
Minnesota seniors are an impressive lot. Nearly 69 percent are able-bodied, more than 48 percent are in high health, and the senior workforce is overshadowed by the 36.8 percent of seniors here who volunteer. In fairness, it helps that poverty among seniors here is just 7.2 percent, while just 9.5 percent worry about going hungry.

Mississippi River bridge at Vicksburg, Mississippi
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MISSISSIPPI


Number of workers over 65: 55,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 12.3 percent
This is one of the lowest percentages of working seniors in the country for all the wrong reasons: Just 59 percent are able-bodied, and more of them are physically inactive (34) than in high health (30 percent). Meanwhile, 12.3 percent live in poverty (second-worst in the nation) and 24.3 percent don't know how they'll feed themselves (worst in the nation).

Missouri
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MISSOURI


Number of workers over 65: 191,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.8 percent
The 8.2 percent of Missouri seniors living in poverty is below the national average, as is the 12.9 percent suffering from food insecurity. But the number of working seniors is bolstered by the 42.2 percent in high health among just 63 percent who are considered able-bodied.

Montana
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MONTANA


Number of workers over 65: 37,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.1 percent
Though the number of able-bodied Montana seniors is a middling 65 percent, the 44 percent in high health have a lot to work for. Nearly one in 10 don't know where they're getting their next meal, while nearly 9 percent live in poverty.

Nebraska
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NEBRASKA


Number of workers over 65: 64,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 21.2 percent
About 46 percent of Nebraska seniors are in high health, which makes them a particularly active bunch. More than 35 percent of seniors here volunteer, which is good considering that almost 14 percent of Nebraska seniors either don't know how they'll eat next or need home-delivered meals.

Nevada
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NEVADA


Number of workers over 65: 84,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18 percent
Nearly 9 percent of seniors here live in poverty, while about 14 percent experience some sort of food insecurity. With the state providing only $212 to those in poverty, on average, a healthy chunk of the 65 percent of able-bodied seniors here work to stay afloat.

New Hampshire
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NEW HAMPSHIRE


Number of workers over 65: 53,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 22.6 percent
The Live Free or Die State gets busy living. Though just 4.6 percent of New Hampshire seniors live in poverty (the second-lowest rate in the nation) and get an average of $1,965 in state aid (third-highest), more seniors here volunteer (26.2 percent) than remain physically inactive (24 percent). With a best-in-the-nation 69 percent of New Hampshire seniors able-bodied and 52 percent in high health, they can largely decide for themselves when to retire.

New Jersey
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NEW JERSEY


Number of workers over 65: 289,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.5 percent
While 8.3 percent of New Jersey seniors live in poverty, another 14 percent don't know where they'll get their next meal. Unfortunately, 36 percent of New Jersey seniors are physically inactive (fourth-worst in the nation), while the 42 percent in high health ranks among the bottom half of all states.

New Mexico
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NEW MEXICO


Number of workers over 65: 60,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.8 percent
New Mexico's working seniors face some of the largest obstacles of any group in the nation. With 11.5 percent of all seniors here living in poverty (third-worst in the country) and 18 percent not knowing where their next meal is coming from, there's plenty of incentive to keep working. Unfortunately, just 60 percent are able-bodied, and only 38 percent are in high health.

new york
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NEW YORK


Number of workers over 65: 593,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.9 percent
New York is incredibly tough on seniors. There are 11.4 percent of New York seniors living in poverty (fourth-worst in the nation) and 19.3 percent dealing with food insecurity (sixth-worst). While 67 percent are considered able-bodied, just 41 percent are in high health.

North Carolina
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NORTH CAROLINA


Number of workers over 65: 296,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.7 percent
Nearly 21 percent of North Carolina seniors don't know where they're getting their next meal (third-worst in the nation), while 9.4 percent live in poverty. It's great that a higher percentage volunteers (25.4 percent) than works, but just 64 percent are able-bodied and only 40 percent are in high health.

North Dakota
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NORTH DAKOTA


Number of workers over 65: 25,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 23.9 percent
The state dedicates more than $1,100 annually to each senior in poverty and has decreased poverty among seniors 31 percent over the past five years to just 7.9 percent. Of the 66 percent of seniors here who are able-bodied, 36 percent volunteer their time, though less than 40 percent are in high health.

Ohio
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OHIO


Number of workers over 65: 336,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.4 percent
With 8.1 percent of Ohio seniors living in poverty and 15 percent unsure how they'll get their next meal, the percentage of working seniors seems fairly low. Of course, having a senior population that's 34 percent physically inactive doesn't help.

Oklahoma
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OKLAHOMA


Number of workers over 65: 116,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19.3 percent
While 8.6 percent of Oklahoma seniors live in poverty, more than 18 percent are worried about finding their next meal. That's 11th-worst in the nation, and isn't helped by the just 58 percent of seniors who qualify as able-bodied — ranking the state third-worst in the nation.

Portland, Oregon Skyline
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OREGON


Number of workers over 65: 123,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 17.7 percent
While just 63 percent of seniors here are considered able-bodied, 47.5 percent (sixth-best in the nation) are in high health. While that helps the 7.5 percent living in poverty, it's also vital for the 15 percent who don't know where their next meal is coming from.

Pennsylvania
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PENNSYLVANIA


Number of workers over 65: 414,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.4 percent
Another state where the number of seniors in poverty is relatively low (7.8 percent), but the number having a hard time keeping themselves fed is fairly high (15.1 percent). Yet just 6 percent experience frequent mental distress about any of the above, with 65 percent still considered able-bodied.

Rhode Island
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RHODE ISLAND


Number of workers over 65: 38,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 21.1 percent
More than 9 percent of Rhode Island seniors live in poverty, with 14.5 percent struggling to afford their next meal. Yet more than 68 percent are able-bodied, with 45.2 percent 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: 138,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 16 percent
The 8.6 percent of South Carolina seniors in poverty is exacerbated by the 8.9 percent in frequent mental distress. Just 64 percent are able-bodied, less than 40 percent are in high health, and close to 20 percent aren't sure about where their next meal is coming from.

South Dakota
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SOUTH DAKOTA


Number of workers over 65: 58,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 30 percent
The Bureau of Labor Statistics data on working seniors here is incomplete. But the more than 75 percent of South Dakota seniors who remain physically active indicate there's a sizable population of seniors that can still work, while the 36.3 percent of all seniors who volunteer seem interested in keeping busy.

Gatlinburg, Tennessee
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TENNESSEE


Number of workers over 65: 176,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 16.3 percent
Seniors here are hardly in working shape. Only 62 percent are able-bodied, and more are physically inactive (35.3 percent) than in high health (34.9 percent). With 9 percent in poverty and more than 16 percent struggling just to eat, more would work if they had the chance.

Dallas, TX
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TEXAS


Number of workers over 65: 642,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18.5 percent
The 10.5 percent poverty rate among seniors here is among the 10th highest in the country, while the 17 percent who feel anxious about their next meal also ranks in the bottom half of the country. Unfortunately, just 61 percent of seniors here are able-bodied, with just 37 percent in high health.

Utah
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UTAH


Number of workers over 65: 69,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 20.5 percent
It isn't surprising to see one in five Utahan seniors still working. More than 47 percent are in high health, while fewer than 23 percent are physically inactive. Though just 6.7 percent live in poverty (fourth-lowest in the country) a national-best 46 percent volunteer their time and remain active members of their communities.

vermont
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VERMONT


Number of workers over 65: 31,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 25.5 percent
Why are one in every four seniors here still working? Because they're healthy enough to get the job done. About 69 percent are able-bodied (second-best in the country) and a best-in-the-nation 52 percent are in high health, which helps explain why more than 34 percent also volunteer.

Virginia Beach, Virginia
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VIRGINIA


Number of workers over 65: 242,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19.7 percent
More than 67 percent of seniors here are able-bodied enough to remain in the workforce, though just 7.8 percent live in poverty. Still, with more than one in 10 wondering where their next meal is coming from, it's clear why more than one in five stay on the job.

Washington
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WASHINGTON


Number of workers over 65: 210,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 19 percent
The almost 80 percent of seniors here who are still physically active rank third-best in the country, though it notably exceeds the 64 percent who are considered able-bodied. With nearly 8 percent living in poverty and 11 percent trying not to worry about eating regularly, Washington seniors aren't necessarily working just to fill the hours.

West Virginia
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WEST VIRGINIA


Number of workers over 65: 50,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 14.5 percent
When just 57 percent of seniors are able-bodied (worst in the country), only a third are in high health (third-worst) and nearly 10 percent are in frequent mental distress about all of the above, it can be difficult to stay on the job. Unfortunately, with 9.5 percent of West Virginia seniors living in poverty and 18.5 percent 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: 169,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 18 percent
While the 68 percent of Wisconsin seniors considered able-bodied are among the most healthy in the country, the 7.6 percent living in poverty and 10 percent suffering from food insecurity are also far better percentages 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: 18,000
Percentage of seniors still working: 21.3 percent
The 8.5 percent of seniors in poverty isn't great, but the 9.1 percent worried about their next meal is among the lowest in the country. Meanwhile, with more than 47 percent of seniors here in high health, they work as long or as little as they please.