Sunday, October 7, 2012

Financial Challenge of Aging

Since I write mysteries about older people, I’m interested in topics of aging. I’m also co-chair of the Boulder County Aging Advisory Council. At our meeting this last Friday, we heard about the Elder Economic Security Standard Index for Colorado. This showed how much annual income a person 65+ requires to meet basic needs, assuming good health. For an individual owning a house without a mortgage this is $17,664 in Colorado. For a couple with a mortgage the amount is $38,676. For elders living only on Social Security, this is an issue. The further compounding is that if an individual requires long-term care for 36 hours a week of care, an additional $43, 632 per year is required. Social Security was envisioned to be one leg of a three-legged stool of Social Security, pensions and savings. Unfortunately, pensions have dried up, and few organizations provide them. People in low economic situations can’t afford to save along the way. So when it comes time to retire, many people are relying entirely on Social Security, which won’t cover their basic needs. If you have been able to provide a complete three-legged stool for your retirement, consider yourself fortunate. 

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