Why Did Poverty Drop for the Elderly?

Source: Alicia H. Munnell, April Wu, and Josh Hurwitz, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, Issue Brief, IB#10-16, September 2010

From the abstract:
The Census Bureau just reported a large increase in poverty in the United States. Driven by job loss and long-term unemployment, the poverty rate rose from 13.2 percent to 14.3 percent, as 3.7 million more Americans found themselves with incomes below the poverty threshold. Individuals aged 55-64 followed the national trend as they shared in job losses. Those 65 and over, however, saw a decline in their poverty rate. This outcome was the result of the timing of two different adjustments to reflect changes in consumer prices – an extraordinarily large cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) awarded to Social Security beneficiaries in 2009 and a decline in the index used to adjust the poverty threshold for 2009. This pattern is likely to be reversed in the future as Social Security beneficiaries receive no COLAs in 2010 and 2011 and the poverty threshold increases.
See also:
The Not-So-Golden Years – Confronting Elderly Poverty and Improving Seniors’ Economic Security
Source: Alexandra Cawthorne, Center for American Progress, September 27, 2010

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