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Senior incomes improve over decades

The median income for senior Americans has more than doubled since 1962. Social security and pensions help explain why.

Older Americans are better off. The median inflation-adjusted income for senior Americans has more than doubled since 1962.

Fifty years ago the median income for those 65 and over was $8,027 for singles; in 2010 it was $17,845. For couples, the ’62 median was $20,424; in 2010 it was up to $43,114.

One reason seniors were, on average, better off financially is monthly Social Security payments, which have risen faster than inflation and in 2010 averaged more than $1,200 per retiree. Another reason: more than three times as many seniors got private pension payments in 2009 compared to 1962. Those getting government pensions increased by nearly 50 percent.

For more details, watch and share today’s video. And join our discussion below. If you’re a senior, do you feel better off than those a generation ago? If you’re not, how do you feel about this fact? 

What do others say?

  • : CATO Institute: “Trustees' projections mask Social Security shortfall” More

  • : The American Prospect: “There is no Social Security crisis” More

  • : Social Security Administration: “The future financial status of the Social Security program” More

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