A new report from the National Academy of Social Insurance provides an overview of the economic status of the elderly in the United States. Among its conclusions: Small changes in revenues and benefits could securely pay for Social Security and improve benefit adequacy for vulnerable elders.
Virginia P. Reno and Benjamin Veghte, Economic Status of the Elderly in the United States, National Academy of Social Insurance, September 2010. http://www.nasi.org/sites/default/files/research/Economic%20Status%20of%20the%20Aged.pdf
Here is an Abstract:
American elders saw sharp gains in their incomes and declines in poverty during the 1960s and 70s and have had smaller gains since. Updated poverty measures show that seniors are as likely as children to be poor. When Social Security and pensions are converted to asset values, a typical household approaching retirement in 2007 had net worth of $676,500. Social Security was the largest part (44 percent) and home equity was second (20 percent). The collapse of the housing bubble and the stock market meltdown in 2008-2009 significantly eroded asset values. U.S. elders are more likely to be poor than are elders in other OECD countries. The United States faces a smaller challenge from an aging society because our workforce is growing and our Social Security promises are smaller. Small changes in revenues and benefits could securely pay for Social Security and improve benefit adequacy for vulnerable elders.