Economic security for seniors was built on the three-legged stool of retirement (Social Security, pensions, and savings) at the core of the social contract that rewards a lifetime of productivity. Economic security of seniors, however, is being challenged by two simultaneously occurring trends: a weakening of the three legs of retirement security income and dramatically increasing expenses, such as for healthcare and housing. This report examines the long-term economic security of seniors, depicts current trends and suggests policies promoting the enduring well-being of seniors. Particular areas of vulnerability include:
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;
40% of senior households spend more than 15% of their income on healthcare;
1 in 3 senior households has no money whatsoever left over after meeting essential expenses;
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.