NYS Elder Economic Security Index: Making Ends Meet


Neither Social Security Nor Median Incomes Provide Economic Security.

In fact, Social Security is the sole source of income for more than 25% of New York elders!

The average Social Security payments do not meet average Elder Index expenses for single women in any of the state’s counties, whether the elder is a renter or a homeowner. Average Social Security payments meet Elder Index expenses only for single male homeowners in good health without mortgages in the least expensive counties.

Even for elder homeowners who have paid off mortgages, Social Security payments fall far short of economic security as defined by the Elder Index.

In 2009, a single elder in North and Western New York who rented and relied entirely on the average Social Security payment for men fell nearly $3,000 short of economic security. A single elder woman in the North and Western New York region who rented and relied entirely on average Social Security fell more than $7,100 short of economic security. Average Social Security payments are high enough, however, to disqualify New York elders from participating in some critical public assistance programs.

As shown in Figures 3 and 4, many of those who live on New York retirees’ live below regional and county Elder Indexes. Even those with retirement incomes that include personal retirement accounts, private savings and pensions may fall short of economic security.

This problem is most severe for single elder women. In 2009, single women’s median annual retirement income fell short of the Elder Index for renters by over $4,000 in North and Western New York and by over $13,000 in New York City.


EESSI vs. Benchmark


Figure 4

Learn more about this initiative by clicking the links below:

Economic Security Index by County (.pdf)

New York Elder Economic Security Initiative

Real Cost of Living

Making Ends Meet

Bridging the Gaps

Elder Index Resources