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Sources of Income for Older Adults

Today’s older adults typically have a number of sources of income. For most, the primary source of income is Social Security. Other sources are income from investments and other assets, pensions and other retirement plans, earnings from work and, for a small percentage, public assistance programs and veterans benefits.

In 2015, nearly nine out of ten people 65 and older received Social Security benefits. More than half received income from assets, such as stocks, bonds, and real estate, while nearly one-third received a regular payment from a pension or retirement savings plan. One out of five received income from earnings.

Table 7. Percentage of adults 65 and older receiving income from specified sources

Source of income

Individuals, 2015

Aged units, 2014

Social Security 

85%

84%

Assets

65

62

Pensions

31

37

Earnings

24

29

Public Assistance

  3

  4

Veterans’ benefits

  4

  5

No income (less than $2,500)

  2

  N/A

 

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