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Sources of Income for Older Americans, 2012

This fact sheet examines the income sources of people aged 65 and older at the individual level, rather than the family or household. It shows that Social Security remains the mainstay of retirement income for most older Americans, while only about one in three receive regular payments from pensions and retirement savings.

Social Security is particular important to older Americans with low to moderate incomes, accounting for about four out of every five dollars of their income.  Earnings as a source of older people’s income have risen steadily over the past two decades, while income from assets has fallen. Older minorities are less likely to have income from Social Security, pensions and retirement savings, interest, and dividends.

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