SF Gate: California seniors have highest poverty rate, study finds

  • Allen Stross returns to his home after lunch at the North Berkeley Senior Center and some grocery shopping. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle

Allen Stross of Berkeley started working at age 13. He’s been a delivery boy, a sign painter, a Navy sailor and a photographer for the Detroit Free Press. Now, at age 90, he and his wife live on about $21,000 a year. After they pay for rent and medications, they’re left with just $416 a month.

“No restaurants. No movies. No new clothes. We look for a lot of freebies,” he said. “But I try not to worry about things I can’t control, such as the past or the future. My wife’s a Buddhist. That helps.”

Stross and his wife, a retired art history teacher, are among a growing throng of formerly middle-class Americans who find themselves in poverty as seniors. For about 6.3 million seniors nationwide living below the poverty line, that means eating most meals at free dining rooms, rarely turning up the heat, rationing medications and praying that emergencies never strike.

California, with its high cost of living and health care, leads the nation in the percentage of older adults living in poverty, according to a 2013 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Twenty percent of California adults over age 65 live below the poverty threshold of about $16,000 annually, when taking into account the higher cost of housing and health care.

Poverty rising again

Continue reading here: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/California-seniors-have-highest-poverty-rate-5345516.php?cmpid=email-mobile

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

%d bloggers like this: