Report: Fewer seniors are living in poverty, but housing costs are surging

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While older Americans are in better financial shape than previous generations, soaring housing prices could compromise these gains, a federal report suggests.

The proportion of seniors with incomes below the poverty threshold fell from 15% in 1974 to 9% in 2010 for seniors 65 and older, according to the report “Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being,” which was published by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging Related Statistics.

While the report also reveals that reliance on housing options such as assisted living and continuing care retirement communities is increasing, the cost burden of these settings is growing.

“In 1985, about 30% of households with householders or spouses age 65 and over spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing and utilities,” the report states. “By 2009, the proportion of older people with high housing cost burden reached 40%.”

On the positive side, the data also found that seniors with functional limitations have fallen over time. In 1992, 49% of those age 65 and older reported limitations with at least one activity of daily living. In 2009, that number was down to 41%.

Click here to read the full report.

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