Huff Post: Income Inequality Among America’s Seniors Means It’s Not Time to Cut the Safety Net

Kevin Prindiville - 5th Annual LAAAC Aging Summit

Two weeks ago, a USA Today story revealed that the U.S. has the fourth most uneven income distribution in the developed world. We rank just behind Chile, Mexico, and Turkey with one of the developed world’s largest income gaps. While income inequality in America is not news, few are paying attention to how income inequality impacts America’s older adults.

recent report from the Kaiser Family Foundation begins to shine a light on what inequality looks like among older adults. According to the report, while 25 percent of Medicare beneficiaries have incomes below $14,400 (the federal poverty level is $11,670) and half have incomes below $23,500, 1 percent have incomes exceeding $171,650. And, while eight percent of Medicare beneficiaries had no savings or were in debt, and 25 percent had savings below $11,300 (per capita income and savings rates were even lower for both black and Hispanic beneficiaries), five percent of beneficiaries had more than $1.1 million in savings.

Unfortunately, for Medicare beneficiaries who have little savings, their financial insecurity is unlikely to improve. The Kaiser study showed that in the future income inequality may become even more pronounced, even if public programs like Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income are spared from cuts.

Continue reading here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-prindiville/income-inequality-among-a_b_5453684.html?fb_action_ids=10203457431629048&fb_action_types=og.shares

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

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