Nebraska ranks 30th in cost of living for elderly

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska has the 30th-highest cost of living for people over 65, according to a University of Massachusetts-Boston study.

The study also found that nearly 50% of all senior citizens nationwide have a hard time paying for basic necessities. The current economic hardships in the country have exacerbated the problem.

The study also defines the Elder Index which is the income level at which the elderly can cover basic necessities without any extra income support programs, loans or gifts. The Elder Index is calculated for every county in the U.S.

Social Security is the primary source of income for most seniors. In fact, over half of all older adults who live below the Elder Index rely on Social Security for 90% of their income.

While Social Security benefits have increased this year, much of those bonuses were consumed by rising insurance premiums and other inflation costs.

Randall Jones, director of Aging Partners in Lincoln, said that despite these issues, seniors are very resilient and have been through these types of recessions and depressions before.

“They seem to have a lot of hope and have a positive attitude from the standpoint of ‘we’ll get through this.'” he said. “The problem or challenge with that is that sometimes they don’t ask for help when they need the help.”

The study concludes that many older adults and are “in the gap” between economic security and poverty. But the study says that the gap is not a good place to be and that seniors need to have long-term economic stability.

States can address the gap by recognizing these problems and considering policies that would help provide more federal services and support beyond just emergency aid.

Jones said another way people can help is by checking in with seniors personally to ask about finances and offering help if needed.

This can be difficult when most people are already dealing with inflation and don’t have extra funds to also take care of seniors, but Aging Partners is working to advocate and enhance the lives of older people in the Lincoln area. Its number is 402-441-7070.

To look up customized information about the cost of elder living in any county, state or country, check out www.elderindex.org.

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