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Efforts to evaluate the impact of programs designed to safeguard the well-being of older adults in the US are stymied by the absence of adequate tools to answer a key question: how much income is “enough” in later life? The purpose of this paper is to report on a new indicator of income adequacy designed to correct this measurement gap. The Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index) is a geographically specific measure of the cost of living independently for older adults aged 65 and over. This paper provides an overview of the development of the Elder Index, demonstrates the variability in Elder Index values both geographically and across different residential settings, and provides an illustration of how the Elder Index may be used in establishing differences in economic hardship across subgroups of older adults. The paper concludes with a discussion of the potential research and policy uses of this new measure.
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- The Elder Economic Security Standard Index™: A New Indicator for Evaluating Economic Security in Later Life
Jan E. Mutchler
Ellen A. Bruce
- Springer Netherlands
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