Most middle-income seniors won’t be able to afford healthcare, housing in 2029, study shows

By 2029, most middle-income Americans ages 75 and older will not have the financial means to pay for the healthcare and seniors housing they will likely need, predicts a study published in Health Affairs.

For the study, researchers used data from the Health and Retirement Study — a nationally representative survey of people ages 50 and older — to project the number of Americans ages 75 and older in 2029 and estimated their demographic characteristics, health, cognitive and functional status, and financial resources, such as income and assets.

They  looked at middle-income seniors, defined as those ages 75 to 84 with annuitized financial resources of $25,001 to $74,298 (in 2014 dollars) and those ages 85 and older with annuitized financial resources of $24,450 to $95,051 (in 2014 dollars).

Based on the data, the study predicted that by 2029 there will be 14.4 million middle-income seniors, and 20 percent will have high healthcare and functional needs.

Researchers said many of these middle-income seniors will likely need seniors housing, including private independent living and assisted-living communities, but they estimated that more than half of them (54 percent) will not be able to afford it.

"This gap suggests a role for public policy and the private sector in meeting future long-term care and housing needs for middle-income seniors," they concluded.


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