+EdwardGlen Posted July 20, 2011 Report Share Posted July 20, 2011 When sndley whiplashes taxes on the elderly, poor, and sick kick in this situation will only get worse and maybe oh nerd boy will make 100% of Michigan elderly bankrupt and homeless. I'm sure as good christian snydley has an excuse when he gets to the gates, not sure Pete will buy it thou. An old person loved, is Winter with flowers. - German proverb http://www.freep.com/article/20110720/NEWS06/110720009/Poverty-study-1-4-Michigan-senior-citizens-struggle-money-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE A third of Michigan’s seniors are considered “economically insecure” — far more than the federal poverty limits would suggest, according to a new study. Moreover, even in counties that are home to some of the most affluent suburbs, at least one in four seniors struggle to make ends meet, according to the paper, “Invisible Poverty: New Measure Unveils Financial Hardship in Michigan’s Older Population.” “There’s the popular perception that they have this nice car and their house is paid off and they travel the country. And that’s true for some,” said Thomas Jankowski, one of the study’s authors and associate director for research at Wayne State University’s Institute of Gerontology. “But others – many, many others – just skate on the edge of economic security.” In Michigan, the median income for a household headed by someone 65 and older is $32,392 , based on the 2008 U.S. Census numbers used in the study. And 78,521 senior households out of 813,013 — or 9.7 % — fall under the poverty threshold. That’s about $13,014 for a senior couple. But Jankowski and others used the Elder Index as a measure instead. Originally developed by Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the formula considers expenses typical to seniors — things like out-of-pocket medical expenses. It also considers different housing markets and other living expenses that vary geographically. In other words, it costs more to live in a posh area, so the threshold of security there will be higher. By that measure, more than one in three seniors in Oakland and Macomb counties — or 35.3% and 36.8 % respectively — were “economically insecure,” while 40.8 % of seniors in Wayne County were insecure. The study is broken down by county, but median incomes may range widely within those areas. Still, no Zip code is free of economic uncertainty, Jankowski said. “You might have seniors who bought this big fancy house when they were working, but now they have to pay property taxes on it, and they’re still struggling — especially now the (real estate) market has locked people in those houses," Jankowski said. And homeowners with stagnant or dwindling incomes face rising costs to maintain those homes. “They may have to hire more things – everything from snow-shoveling and lawn-mowing to window-washing and painting,” said Kate White, executive director of Elder Law of Michigan, a Lansing-based nonprofit which advocates for seniors. Elder Law worked with the Boston researchers to develop an Elder Index specific to Michigan. They are people like Lois Richard, an accounts payable clerk who retired at 67 years old with a savings plan, pension and Social Security that matched her income at the time. And she had worked overtime to pay off the Oak Park home she’s lived in for three decades. But the market punched holes in her retirement account and her pension from a now-shuttered company might be in question. She said she long ago shed extra expenses like cable TV, and she does most of her own yard work and house repairs. Now at 81, she has turned to food stamps. “My gas bill just went up, my Blue Cross just went up, and the taxes went up and the car insurance went up” she said. “You do everything you’re supposed to do and the world goes on and you stand still.” Contact Robin Erb: 313-222-2708 or firstname.lastname@example.org Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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