Monday, October 6, 2008

Elders Can't Bail Out

This week, the financial institutions, markets, and legislative bodies have been stressed beyond measure. Financial entities are struggling to support themselves and caught in a buy-in; buy out cycle, while the House and Senate worked aimlessly at crafting a bill that would not make taxpayers ultimately pay for the failures of the financial corporations. Elders are feeling the economic crisis just as much as anyone else, if not more. In addition, they cannot bail out of their everyday living costs and needs no matter what the economy looks like. In a Los Angeles Times article this week, titled, “The Golden Years have Lost their Glow”, elder citizens discuss their frustration with the shrinking housing market, rising costs of healthcare, and their 401(k) plans declining because of the economic downturn.

Key points in the article include:

- Last month 16.4% of seniors age 65 and older were in the workforce, highest percentage in 38 years, according to the Department of Labor

- Americans age 55 and older have experienced the sharpest increase in bankruptcy than any other age group, almost 25% of the total population of filers, according to an AARP report

- Homeowners age 50 and over represent 28% of homeowner delinquencies and foreclosures, according an AARP report

These statistics are why EESI continues to work toward economic security for elders. The financial woes of the stock market are having negative effects on elders wanting to retire or those already retired because they cannot afford to keep their homes, and some feel forced to continue working just to make ends meet. For more information about the standard of economic security, check out the Elder Index, a tool that maps out the average revenue needed for basic economic security for elders.

No comments: