Worried about how you’ll afford health care (and other expenses) after retirement? Check out the Elder Index

August 3, 2022

Researchers at the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Boston have developed an online tool to help retired (or soon-to-be retired) Americans understand the monthly cost of living for older adults.

Click on this link and provide information about where you will retire and the tool will give you a sense of your monthly costs as well as how your situation compares to others in your age group.

The Elder Index uses various public databases to calculate the cost of health care, housing, food, transportation and miscellaneous expenses.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) reports that a new coalition, Equity in Aging Collaborative, is planning to use the index to influence public policies that affect older adults, including property tax relief and expanded eligibility for programs that assist with medical expenses.

The goal is to fuel a robust dialogue about “the true cost of aging in America,” Ramsey Alwin, president and chief executive of the National Council on Aging told KHN.

The Elder Index estimates that a single older adult in good health paying rent needed $27,096, on average, for basic expenses in 2021. And in April, University of Massachusetts researchers showed that Social Security benefits cover only a fraction of what older adults need for basic living expenses.

Tell us your story. Are you or someone you love struggling to afford health care? Share your experience (and selfie!) with Voices for Affordable Health.