Vital Aging Network

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Economic Security

As we grow older, coping with stress becomes more difficult. Frail elderly adults are less resilient when faced with change. Individuals living on a limited, fixed income while seeing costs escalate find their situations particularly stressful. For many people, looking forward to long lives brings fear that the money will run out long before their bodies do.

Financial literacy is an important need, particularly for widows or widowers who have not previously held responsibility for managing finances.

Although a smaller percentage of people over 65 have very low incomes now than in the mid-1960s, 9% compared to 33%, for people with limited incomes and limited savings, any drop in services or inflation in costs may create an unhealthy situation of dire need. Broad-based community involvement can generate the basic resources needed and protect the welfare of older adults.

Further, a recent study conducted by the Minnesota Department of Human Services noted that while a healthy majority of baby boomers will live with means in retirement, 24% of baby boomers will not have adequate income in retirement to support health and long-term care costs.

Page Author: Jan Hively and Hal Freshley

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