Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

American Seniors Living Longer On Less

Date:
January 30, 2009
Source:
Brandeis University
Summary:
Older Americans have experienced huge, negative financial shifts that now make it more difficult to enter retirement with sustainable economic security, according to a new study. Seventy-eight percent of all senior households are financially vulnerable when it comes to their ability to meet essential expenses and cover projected costs over their lifetimes.

Older Americans have experienced huge, negative financial shifts that now make it more difficult to enter retirement with sustainable economic security, a new study finds. Seventy-eight percent of all senior households are financially vulnerable when it comes to their ability to meet essential expenses and cover projected costs over their lifetimes.

Related Articles


This is according to the Senior Economic Security Index (SESI), a new research project developed by The Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University and Demos, a national public policy and research organization. Single households, African-American households, and Latino households are the most likely groups of seniors to be financially vulnerable.

These sobering stats serve as a wakeup call for younger and middle-aged Americans. Though they are financially vulnerable, today's seniors represent a best-case scenario of having reached retirement under stronger Social Security, better employer-based benefits, and greater opportunities to avoid debt and build assets than future generations will experience.

Particular areas of vulnerability include:

  • Housing: 45% of senior households spend nearly a third of their income on housing. 31% either rent or have no home equity to draw on in tough times
  • Healthcare: 40% of senior households spend more than 15% of their income on healthcare.
  • Budgets: 1 in 3 senior households has no money whatsoever left over after meeting essential expenses.
  • Assets: More than half of all senior households (54 percent) do not have sufficient financial resources to meet median projected expenses based on their current financial net worth, projected Social Security, and pension incomes.

"Even in their current precarious state, it is important to note that today's seniors are better prepared for retirement than subsequent generations will be," said Tatjana Meschede, lead author of Living Longer on Less: The New Economic (In)Security of Seniors, a just-published report on the SESI. "They have benefited from pensions, jobs with significant retirement benefits, and a stronger social safety net than subsequent generations will enjoy."

Left unchanged, the current decline in employer-based retirement savings, the weakening of Social Security and Medicare, and rising debt experienced by younger Americans will add up to even greater vulnerability as they retire, the report shows.

"Younger generations, who face historically low savings rates, declining assets and an unsure future for their retirement accounts and Social Security itself, must urge our policy leaders to take action to strengthen the security of today's seniors and to ensure their own," noted Jennifer Wheary, a co-author of Living Longer on Less.

The authors of Living Longer on Less call on our policy makers in Congress and in the Obama administration to take action to strengthen the security of today's seniors and to ensure that younger generations will experience long-term economic stability through their senior years. Such actions include:

  • Strengthening Social Security.
  • Increasing Asset Building Opportunities.
  • Supporting Flexibility to Allow Americans to Work Longer and More Productively
  • Addressing The Medicare Crisis
  • Instituting Long-Term Care Insurance

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Brandeis University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Brandeis University. "American Seniors Living Longer On Less." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090128122816.htm>.
Brandeis University. (2009, January 30). American Seniors Living Longer On Less. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090128122816.htm
Brandeis University. "American Seniors Living Longer On Less." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090128122816.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Symantec Uncovers Sophisticated Spying Malware Regin

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A Symantec white paper reveals details about Regin, a spying malware of unusual complexity which is believed to be state-sponsored. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) First came the big storm. Now comes the big melt for residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo. New York's governor says officials are preparing for the worst as the temperature is expected to rise and potentially melt several feet of snow. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

European Parliament Might Call For Google's Break-Up

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) This is the latest development in an antitrust investigation accusing Google of unfairly prioritizing own products and services in search results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins