Study: Millions of Seniors Struggle to Cover Basic Living Expenses

More than nine million retired Americans are struggling to cover their basic living expenses, according to a new study released by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW), an organization dedicated to economic independence for America’s families.

A majority of elder households have insufficient income based on the Elder Economic Security Standard (Elder Index), says the study, “Doing Without: Economic Insecurity and Older Americans.”

And in order to avoid deepening the financial crisis that a growing number of older households are facing, it’s imperative to maintain a national commitment to government programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other “gap-filling” policies and programs.

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“Growing old in America is getting more and more expensive.  Even though we may not be able to avoid getting older, we can’t afford it either,” said Donna Addkison, President and CEO of WOW, in a statement.  “Working hard is no guarantee you’ll be able to cover your most basic expenses when you retire.”

Massachusetts seniors appear to be the most economically insecure, with a median budget shortfall of more than $10,000 a year, using the Elder Index, followed by D.C., New York, Hawaii, and Connecticut.

Although this gap narrows to $1,000 or $2,000 in states such as Alaska, Montana, and Utah,”no region of the country offers a safe haven for older adults.”

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View the state rankings by economic security gap here.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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