Issues

Aging

Every day, between 8,000 and 10,000 Americans turn 65. Longer lifespans, uncertain retirement income, elevated healthcare costs and a weak safety net increase economic pressure in the later years of Americans’ lives. America has unusually high rates of old age poverty. Over 25 million Americans older than 60 are economically insecure, and an increasing number of workers are expected to struggle financially in retirement. Aging Americans also face repercussions of earlier economic struggle. Lifetime earnings profoundly affect mortality rates: in general, the higher one’s earnings, the longer one lives. Economic insecurity isn’t distributed equally, as income inequality during working years carries over and often intensifies in old age. People of color and women experience higher rates of old age poverty, and low-wage workers are the least likely to hold jobs that offer retirement plans. This section of the Spotlight website gathers the latest research, news and opinion on aging and poverty.