Retire Better: More seniors are being pushed into poverty — here’s why

by | Oct 21, 2022 | Stock Market

A terrible thing is happening to America’s seniors. While overall poverty rates in the United States are falling, they are rising for Americans over age 65.  That’s according to the latest U.S. Census Bureau data, which says the share of older people living below the poverty line rose to 10.3% in 2021, up from 8.9% in 2020. 

The increase means that an additional 1 million older adults have fallen below the poverty threshold, bringing the total number of seniors in that unfortunate category to nearly 6 million, according to an analysis by the National Council on Aging (NCOA).  “We are deeply dismayed,” says Ramsey Alwin, NCOA’s president and CEO, in a statement. “This increase shines a glaring spotlight on the fact that Social Security and Medicare, the bedrock of retirement security for so many, are not sufficient to lift all older adults above poverty.” Also dismayed—but not surprised—is Mary Johnson of the Senior Citizens League, a Washington-based advocacy group. “The Census Bureau report confirms what we have been fearing,” she tells MarketWatch. “Our surveys in 2021 and 2022 have indicated that a rising number of retirees report that they have spent through emergency savings and have applied for safety net programs. In fact, the number of survey participants who say they have applied for SNAP or visited a food pantry over the past 12 months …

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