Publication Date



The aging of the United States population will influence the economy for many years to come. The Census Bureau projects that in 2050, the population aged 65 and older will be 83.7 million, almost double its estimate of 43.1 million in 2012.

This article examines the spending patterns of households with a reference person age 55 and older. Age 55 was chosen because the article focuses on spending changes that occur as household members age and transition to retirement as well as during retirement. Understanding expenditure patterns in later life is crucial to evaluating financial security in retirement. This analysis uses integrated data from the 2014 Consumer Expenditure Survey (CE), which separates the 55-and-older age range into three groups: ages 55–64, 65–74, and 75 and older.


Suggested Citation
Foster, A. C. (2016). A closer look at spending patterns of older Americans. Beyond the Numbers, 5(4). Washington, DC: Bureau of Labor Statistics.