Older Americans Facing Hunger

Hunger receded after the recession but not for older Americans, U.S. figures show, By Peter Whoriskey, August 17, 2017, Washington Post: “Since the recession, many measurements of the U.S. economy improved: The stock market rallied, unemployment fell and the number of Americans worried about getting enough food began to drop. Yet for all that, one important measure has lagged. The proportion of people over 60 deemed to be ‘facing hunger’ – based on their answers to a U.S. Census survey –  has been on a steady climb that began in 2001 and has plateaued but not dropped in recent years, according to a report released Wednesday…”

Elder Poverty

Many more elderly people are dying in poverty than we thought, new measurement shows, By Amrith Ramkumar, August 1, 2016, Miami Herald: “When Donald Trump says almost four in 10 black American youths live in poverty, he’s technically correct. According to the official poverty measure, 36 percent of African-Americans under the age of 18 fell below the poverty line in 2014. The problem with that statistic is that the official poverty line is a flawed measurement. It doesn’t take into account benefits like food stamps and tax credits, so unlike the more recent supplemental poverty measure, it can’t account for the fact that earned income and child tax give-backs lower the poverty rate by 3.1 percentage points, and food stamps (formally known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits) cut it by 1.5 percentage points…”

Retirement Security

Women more likely than men to face poverty during retirement, Associated Press, July 10, 2016, Chicago Tribune: “During their working years, women tend to earn less than men, and when they retire, they’re more likely to live in poverty. These are women who raised children and cared for sick and elderly family members, often taking what savings and income they do have and spending it on things besides their own retirement security. The National Institute on Retirement Security, a nonprofit research center, reports that women are 80 percent more likely than men to be impoverished at age 65 and older. Women age 75 to 79 are three times more likely…”

Elder Poverty – California

Poverty rate jumps among California seniors, By Claudia Buck and Phillip Reese, March 26, 2016, Sacramento Bee: “The older you are, the poorer you get.  For a growing number of California seniors living on the edges of poverty, that’s the uncomfortable reality.  In the Sacramento region, the number of residents 65 and older living at or below the federal poverty line – $11,400 for a single individual – roughly doubled from 2005 to 2014, according to a Sacramento Bee review of U.S. census data. That means 28,000 seniors, or 9 percent of the region’s elderly population, are officially considered poor.  Statewide, the number of impoverished residents age 65 and older increased by 85 percent, to roughly 520,000, between 1999 and 2014, more than double the rate of population growth among the elderly…”

Elder Poverty – California

UCLA study finds million-plus elderly Californians in poverty, By Dan Walters, August 31, 2015, Sacramento Bee: “More than 300,000 elderly Californians are officially poor, as measured by the federal government, but their numbers triple to more than 1 million when the ‘hidden poor’ are counted, according to a new study from UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research…”

Elder Poverty Among Women

Why Many Retired Women Live in PovertyBy Melanie Hicken, May 13, 2014, CNN Money: “Gender inequality doesn’t end at the workplace. For many women, the gender gap haunts them well into their retirement years, when far more women find themselves living in poverty. In fact, women are almost twice as likely as men to live below the poverty line during retirement, with single and minority women struggling the most (see chart). On average, women 65 years and older rely on a median income of around $16,000 a year — roughly $11,000 less than men of the same age, according to a Congressional analysis of Census data. And many elderly women rely exclusively on Social Security benefits. . .”