RRF Issue Brief on Economic Security of Older Adults Features UMass-Boston Projects

Feb 3, 2021

The RRF Foundation for Aging, which supports the Elder Economic Security Index from UMass-Boston, among other related projects, released an issue brief with data highlighting the importance of addressing economic security for older adults.

Half of older people who live alone in the U.S. and a quarter of all older couples cannot afford a “bare-bones” budget in their communities, totaling 11 million older adults who are
struggling to make ends meet.

The issue brief touches on the challenge of housing costs and how programs like Social Security and Medicare have not kept pace with inflation, but also offers a pair of case studies and ideas for moving the issue forward.

The private sector, RRF points out, has not supported worker savings sufficiently, and
pensions, envisioned as a critical pillar of late life security, are increasingly rare. One such solution is the Pension Action Center (PAC) at UMass Boston, which was recently the subject of a blog post from the school’s Gerontology Institute.

According to the blog post, PAC provides free legal counseling and representation to people living in one of the six New England states and Illinois. Staffed by experienced lawyers and pension counselors, they help people understand their legal rights and claim the retirement benefits they have earned. These services are free of charge to anyone with a pension problem, regardless of age or value of the claim. PAC has successfully helped people recover more than $60 million in retirement benefits to date.