Past research shows that household spending depends on various characteristics of the household, such as household size, household income, employment status, marital status, and health status. A less-explored characteristic is the geographic location of the household: Two retired households that are very similar in all observables except location might spend very different amounts because the costs of housing, medical care and other items vary widely across the country. This is directly relevant for many retirees, since advice or action that fails to take geographic location into account might miss the mark.
This report shows how overall household expenses, as well as home-related expenses and out-of-pocket medical expenses, vary across the different census regions and divisions for older households (ages 50 and above) in 2015. The results show considerable variation in household expenses across the country within the same age groups, and that the variations are larger across smaller geographic units (namely, census divisions as opposed to larger geographic units such as census regions). >> Download PDF