April 24, 2019
Over the next 10 years, the number of middle-income seniors age 75 and over will double to 14 million. These seniors lack the financial resources to afford housing and supportive personal care services, according to a new study conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, with funding provided by the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC). The study also received additional funding support from AARP, the AARP Foundation, the John A. Hartford Foundation, and The SCAN Foundation.
“In only a decade, the number of middle-income seniors will double, and most will not have the savings needed to meet their housing and personal care needs,” said NORC’s Caroline Pearson, one of the study’s lead authors. “Policymakers and the seniors housing community have a tremendous opportunity to develop solutions that benefit millions of middle-income people for years to come.”
The first-of-its-kind study found that 54% of middle-income seniors will be unable to meet yearly costs of $60,000 for assisted living rent and other costs, even if they committed 100% of their annual financial resources including selling their homes to obtain equity.
The number rises to 81% if these seniors choose to hold onto their homes. In other words, only 19% of these “middle-market” seniors are projected to have the financial resources to afford housing and care in 2029 if they don’t sell their home to use the equity for seniors housing.
According to the study, the “middle market” for seniors housing and care in 2029 will be more racially diverse, have higher educational attainment and income, and smaller families to recruit as unpaid caregivers than seniors today.
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