Retirees in the West and Northeast Spend the Most

Spending is much less in the South, EBRI finds.

Households with people between the ages of 65 and 74 spend very different amounts, depending on where they live, according to new research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).

Northeastern older households spend the most ($41,860), and when this is limited to just New England, it spikes to $46,019. On the other hand, those living in the West South Central region of Texas, Oklahoma, Arizona and Louisiana spend the least ($28,540).

For those between the ages of 50 and 64 living in New England, they spend nearly 2.5 times the amount on housing ($30,240) than those in the West South Central region ($11,948).

When it comes to health care spending for those 85 and older, Midwesterners spend an average of $3,480 a year—41.5% more than those in the next-highest spending region of the West ($2,460).

Nationally, average household spending declines with age. In 2015, the average total annual spending for households between the ages of 50 and 64 was $53,087. For those 85 and older, it is $34,982. Housing is the largest spending category for all age groups above 50—ranging from 44% to 48% of total household spending.

“National benchmarks are important and helpful, particularly in shaping national policies,” says Sudipto Banerjee, research associate at EBRI and author of the report. “But individual retirees might find regional or local benchmarks that more closely reflect their personal situation to be more helpful.”

EBRI’s report about regional household spending can be downloaded here.