The Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index) is a measure of economic security for older adults developed by Wider Opportunities for Women in collaboration with the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The Elder Index benchmarks basic costs of living for elder households. It illustrates how costs of living vary geographically and are based on the characteristics of elder households: household size, housing status (homeownership or renter), transportation and health status. The costs are for basic needs of elder households; they are based on market costs and assume no subsidies.
Click on a state below to view the full Elder Index report (as a PDF) for each of our state partners, including county-by-county data:
The Elder Index shows how elders with low- and moderate-incomes are challenged to cover their living costs today. In addition, it illustrates how seniors with moderate and somewhat higher incomes may be prepared for the present, yet face an uncertain future when living costs outpace their incomes, or when costs rise markedly as their life circumstances change.
Significant numbers of elders are facing rising costs of living. Many aging boomers are grappling with care, living options and economic realities for their aging parents. The Elder Index provides a framework to help guide public and private decisions that will shape the health and well-being of today’s elders – decisions that will impact the aging boomer population and the families that will care for them.
Additional resources on the Elder Index: