The data on this site has been updated to information from 2014.  This is the latest living expense information that is available from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The information is updated by the BLS by October of each year for the information from the previous year.

This information is especially helpful to retirees or prospective retirees for planning their retirements since it presents average living expenses of four different groups that are approaching or in retirement.

This information can be downloaded in Excel format for personal use.

Filed under Living Expenses by on #

As you might expect, newspapers are rapidly losing ground to the Internet as the method by which people read the news.  The following graph and tables come from the Bureau of Labor Statics and the information is revealing.  Click the graph to see the full sized image.

Graph of newspaper expenditures versus Internet expenditures

The older population continues to like the feel of newsprint and the younger population likes electronic news.  The percent drop in newspaper expenditures is 22% for the 65 and older population which is the lowest decrease by age group.  As you would expect, the largest drop in in the under 25 age group.

Table 1. Average annual newspaper and magazine expenditures and percent changes by age of reference person, Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1999, 2008.
Newspaper and Magazines 1999 2008 Percent Drop

Under 25

$36 $15 58

25-34

62 29 53

35-44

86 42 51

45-54

120 62 48

55-64

127 88 31

65 & over

122 95 22


The 65 & over group was the largest percent increase in the use of the Internet in the 1999 – 2008 period.  It looks like the seniors were slow to embrace the new technology back in 1999, but have come on strong since then.

Table 2. Average annual Internet expenditures and percent changes by age of reference person,
Consumer Expenditure Survey, 1999, 2008.
Internet Access 1999 2008 Percent Increase

Under 25

$22 $130 490

25-34

49 239 388

35-44

59 267 353

45-54

75 259 245

55-64

51 245 380

65 & over

19 138 626


Data are summed from unpublished CE information. Total spending for internet access comes from Computer Information Services plus Internet Services Away from Home.

Filed under Living Expenses by on #