Income Security: The Effect of the 2007-2009 Recession on Older Adults

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Description

A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the effects of the recent recession on older adults. While the recession officially ended in June 2009, our economy has experienced a weak recovery, with unemployment still above 9 percent. Older adults--particularly those close to or in retirement--may not have the same opportunities as younger adults to recover from the recession's effects. For example, older adults--generally those 55 and older--may have insufficient time to rebuild their depleted retirement savings due to sharp declines in financial markets and home equity, and increased medical costs. Further, ... continued below

Creation Information

United States. Government Accountability Office. October 18, 2011.

Context

This text is part of the collection entitled: Government Accountability Office Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this text can be viewed below.

Who

People and organizations associated with either the creation of this text or its content.

Provided By

UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Serving as both a federal and a state depository library, the UNT Libraries Government Documents Department maintains millions of items in a variety of formats. The department is a member of the FDLP Content Partnerships Program and an Affiliated Archive of the National Archives.

Contact Us

What

Descriptive information to help identify this text. Follow the links below to find similar items on the Digital Library.

Description

A publication issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the effects of the recent recession on older adults. While the recession officially ended in June 2009, our economy has experienced a weak recovery, with unemployment still above 9 percent. Older adults--particularly those close to or in retirement--may not have the same opportunities as younger adults to recover from the recession's effects. For example, older adults--generally those 55 and older--may have insufficient time to rebuild their depleted retirement savings due to sharp declines in financial markets and home equity, and increased medical costs. Further, while older workers are less likely to be unemployed than workers in younger age groups, when older workers lose a job they are less likely to find other employment. These changes have intensified older adults' concerns about having sufficient savings now and adequate income throughout retirement. Social Security forms the foundation of income for nearly all retiree households, providing 36 percent of aggregate income for households with a member aged 65 and older; however, it provides a much greater portion of income for low and middle income households. Pensions and assets together provide 31 percent of aggregate income. However, many older adults lack any pension; 44 percent of full-time workers in their 50s have neither a defined benefit nor a defined contribution pension from their current employer; and the number of active defined benefit plan participants has declined since 1990. In 2007, before the recession began, the median level of financial assets for households approaching or entering retirement was around $72,000. Using a 4 percent withdrawal rate in retirement, this amount would replace about five percent of these families' $55,000 median annual household income. Although most retirees would also receive Social Security benefits, for many retirees even these will not be sufficient to maintain their standard of living. Older Americans' income varies widely. In 2008, annual income for households with a member age 65 and older ranged from $7,466 for those in the lowest of five income groups to $109,543 for the highest of five income groups. Those in the lowest and middle groups received most of their income from Social Security retirement benefits, while those in the highest group on average received most of their income from earnings, asset income, and pensions. Today's testimony is based on a GAO report that we are releasing at this hearing, titled "Income Security: Older Adults and the 2007-2009 Recession." This report examined: (1) What changes have occurred in the employment status of older adults, generally those 55 and older, with the recession? (2) How have the incomes and wealth of older adults in or near retirement changed with the recession? (3) What changes have occurred in the costs of medical care, the purchasing power of Social Security benefits, and mortality rates for older adults in recent years?"

Subjects

Language

Item Type

Identifier

Unique identifying numbers for this text in the Digital Library or other systems.

Collections

This text is part of the following collection of related materials.

Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

What responsibilities do I have when using this text?

When

Dates and time periods associated with this text.

Creation Date

  • October 18, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

Usage Statistics

When was this text last used?

Yesterday: 0
Past 30 days: 0
Total Uses: 9

Where

Geographical information about where this text originated or about its content.

Place Name

Publication Place

Map Information

  • map marker Automatically generated Place Name coordinates.
  • map marker Automatically generated Publication Place coordinates.
  • Repositioning map may be required for optimal printing.

Mapped Locations

Interact With This Text

Here are some suggestions for what to do next.

Start Reading

PDF Version Also Available for Download.

Citations, Rights, Re-Use

United States. Government Accountability Office. Income Security: The Effect of the 2007-2009 Recession on Older Adults, text, October 18, 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc296245/: accessed September 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.