“Older Americans Aren’t as Poor as We Thought”

“Older Americans Aren’t as Poor as We Thought,” by Ben Steverman, Bloomberg

“A new paper by U.S. Census Bureau researchers Adam Bee and Joshua Mitchell uses a Social Security Administration database of 2012 tax filings and other earnings data to check on those survey responses. Older Americans, it turns out, are underestimating their income—by a lot. The median U.S. household 65 or older earned $44,400 in 2012, those data show, a figure 30 percent higher than the median given in the census’s Current Population Survey from that year. And whereas the original survey found that 9.1 percent of Americans 65 and older were living below the poverty line, the new study puts their poverty rate a full two percentage points lower, at 6.9 percent.”

LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
Child poverty ranges from 13% in Utah to 30% in New Mexico, i.e., between double and four times the elderly poverty rate according to this new study. Yet public policy leans more toward the old than the young. Upside down priorities?

Older Americans Aren’t as Poor as We Thought