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Old 09-29-2011, 09:38 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,747,361 times
Reputation: 32309

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First I want to emphasize the first three words of the thread title. I do not deny that some seniors are struggling, but I found an interesting article on the AARP website based on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, and I want to summarize some of the findings. The article can be found at www.aarp.org. The article was dated Sept. 16, 2011, but to my immense frustration, after I made notes on it, I went back and couldn't find it! So sorry about not being able to give a good citation, but I did make written notes and I am certainly not making this up.

As you may have read elsewhere, the poverty rate has risen nationally. For adults 18 to 64 the poverty rate has risen to 13.7 percent. But for those 65 and older, the poverty rate remained flat at 9 percent. In the article, this discrepancy in favor of seniors was attributed to the success of our national safety nets of Social Security and Medicare.

Since 2007, the median household income has fallen 6.4 percent for all age groups except for those 65 and older, which saw an increase of 5.5 percent.

While a national poverty rate for seniors of 9 percent is hardly cause for national pride, what I am trying to point out is the financial status of seniors as a group compared to the younger demographic (64 and under).

Let's face it; at a time of national economic malaise, we seniors (65 and above) are doing pretty damn well. I know someone is going to post about how terribly he/she is struggling, and while I will have no reason to doubt that post (which will turn into those posts), our discussions of national policy have to be based not on individual anecdotes, but on the status of various national groups as a whole.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:02 PM
 
5,621 posts, read 8,556,651 times
Reputation: 7710
What other group has Healthcare, Gov't check, a Higher % of pensions AND the most time for compound interest to work?
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:30 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,966,925 times
Reputation: 18050
I am not sure of retirees but those over 40 contol much of the wealth in this and every country by just the time to accumlate it.Incpomne is one thing and wealth accumltion is quite another. I know other retiree who actaully made more int heir workig life than I did but in retirement don't have the income or wealth I do and other that have more.In fact i paid nothing for healthcare insurance when working actaully loss benefits benfits when retiored and pay part of insurance now but overall my income is now slightly higher.PS- compounding interest isn't going to do it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:45 PM
 
13,322 posts, read 25,574,131 times
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I don't think such a broad statement works too well. People of different ages are in different stages of their financial lives and responsibilities, and one size does not fit all for any group.
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:04 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,890 posts, read 25,335,938 times
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Yes, there are exceptions but I believe Seniors came through this economic mess better than most. If we followed the rules as we aged and converted our investments to less and less risk over time, we are not in a terrible place.

I'm an exception, what got me was real estate and divorce. I may be down but I'm not out. I bet I find a way to turn it around!
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:07 AM
 
Location: southern california
55,668 posts, read 74,646,551 times
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it depends if they stand alone on their own merits pretty good.if they got no good kids and grandkids sucking on their neck, not so good. nothing will make you more poor than a failed offspring.
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,220,203 times
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I can't remember if I read the AARP article, but I did read the census report itself (and saved it ).

http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p60-239.pdf

Of note, the report did not take into account expenses, health insurance, or any other factor unrelated to gross income.

The report did not break down the demographics of households within the over age 65 cohort. For example, in the general population, married households had a 6% poverty rate, while households headed by unmarried females had a 31% poverty rate. I'd like to know how many households in the over 65 group fall into each category. I'm guessing the current "over 65" group has a heckuva lot more married couples than will be found in the future "over 65" group. The question is what impact, if any, will that have on the boomer cohort?

As noted in the report, Social Security recipients received a significant COLA in both 2007 and 2008. As also noted, without Social Security, an additional 14 million seniors (over 65) would have fallen below the poverty level. As you may recall, the average Social Security retirement check is about $1000.00. That alone lifts the over 65 cohort above the poverty level (see below).

What is the poverty level? Interestingly, the poverty level for a one person householder under the age of 65 is $11,344 while a one person householder over the age of 65 is $10,458. Why is there a different standard for the over and under 65? Beats me. I'm guessing it has to do with Medicare.

The report also estimates that earners in the 48-54 age bracket saw their income drop by 9.2%. Those in the 55-64 bracket saw their income drop by 6.2%. That includes all income, i.e. unemployment, alimony, wages, etc. Obviously, a drop in wages will adversely impact the amount of the pre-retiree's social security benefit.

Anyway, my point is you need to look beyond the summaries provided by the media.

Last edited by lenora; 09-30-2011 at 07:19 AM.. Reason: clarity
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Baltimore, MD
3,745 posts, read 4,220,203 times
Reputation: 6866
Quote:
Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
First I want to emphasize the first three words of the thread title. I do not deny that some seniors are struggling, but I found an interesting article on the AARP website based on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, and I want to summarize some of the findings. The article can be found at www.aarp.org. The article was dated Sept. 16, 2011, but to my immense frustration, after I made notes on it, I went back and couldn't find it! So sorry about not being able to give a good citation, but I did make written notes and I am certainly not making this up.

As you may have read elsewhere, the poverty rate has risen nationally. For adults 18 to 64 the poverty rate has risen to 13.7 percent. But for those 65 and older, the poverty rate remained flat at 9 percent. In the article, this discrepancy in favor of seniors was attributed to the success of our national safety nets of Social Security and Medicare.

Since 2007, the median household income has fallen 6.4 percent for all age groups except for those 65 and older, which saw an increase of 5.5 percent.

While a national poverty rate for seniors of 9 percent is hardly cause for national pride, what I am trying to point out is the financial status of seniors as a group compared to the younger demographic (64 and under).

Let's face it; at a time of national economic malaise, we seniors (65 and above) are doing pretty damn well. I know someone is going to post about how terribly he/she is struggling, and while I will have no reason to doubt that post (which will turn into those posts), our discussions of national policy have to be based not on individual anecdotes, but on the status of various national groups as a whole.
You are correct, in general, but all of us fall into different subgroups. I dare say my perspective will significantly differ from yours because my friends and I will fall into a subgroup (elderly unmarried female) that has one of the highest (if not the highest) poverty level in the country.

(This is not to say that I, personally, am not concerned about the burden on the younger generations.)
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,985,208 times
Reputation: 15649
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Yes, there are exceptions but I believe Seniors came through this economic mess better than most. If we followed the rules as we aged and converted our investments to less and less risk over time, we are not in a terrible place.

I'm an exception, what got me was real estate and divorce. I may be down but I'm not out. I bet I find a way to turn it around!
If retired seniors came through pretty well, it was probably because there was no job to lose. For this group, especially those with pensions, I agree with Escort Rider.

For pre-retirees and retirees who lost their jobs (like an acquaintance who is a dental hygienist who has worked for 40 years in the same office and that office is closing just 2 years shy of her retirement age, due to loss of patients), it would be apparent that they are not faring so well....unless of course they have lucrative income from investments to get them by till they get onto SS. As an aside, many decent-paying positions like hers do not carry a pension.

It's impossible to gauge the true situation for seniors as one anonymous demographic.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:33 AM
 
Location: The Triad (NC)
28,508 posts, read 62,217,072 times
Reputation: 32199
Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
Yes, there are exceptions but I believe Seniors came through this economic mess better than most.
This is generally limited to those who were already established in their retirement by year end 2006.
(at whatever level of material comfort that may have been)

Those who weren't (generally those under 70 now)... not as much.
And especially not if still in (what turned out to be) risky and riskier investments and personal situations:

Quote:
...what got me was real estate and divorce.
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