“You see, Social Security currently generates income three different ways: a 12.4% payroll tax on wage income (up to $128,400 in 2018), the taxation of benefits, and interest income earned on the program's asset reserves. Assuming Social Security's asset reserves are depleted, this interest income component could disappear forever. But it ensures that Social Security generates income from its other two funding sources.” *
“Social Security has enough money to keep paying beneficiaries for generations to come
Make no mistake about it, the exhaustion of Social Security's asset reserves is no laughing matter. Not having this financial foundation to fall back on could create the need for lawmakers to reduce Social Security benefits for current and future retirees by up to 21%. All of those seniors who lean so heavily on Social Security are bound to feel a 21% reduction in their benefits.”**
“For the next 16 years, not much. The program will continue to burn through its asset reserves, and by 2034, it will have completely depleted its excess cash. The payout schedule for beneficiaries would likely remain unchanged during this period.”**
“Another blunt truth about Social Security is that there are plenty of options that would fix, or significantly improve, the financial health of the program, but which have been unable to get sufficient support. This is because Democrats and Republicans each believe they have the best solution for Social Security and, as a result, neither has been willing to back down and compromise with the opposing party. Whether it's raising additional revenue by lifting or eliminating the maximum payroll earnings cap, as Democrats would prefer, increasing the full retirement age, as Republicans have proposed, or implementing some combination of these two solutions, Social Security can be completely fixed for current and future generations of retirees. Yet, without cooperation, there's simply not enough votes to pass any legislation on Capitol Hill.”**
Volunteer rates for those ages 55 and older to get a sense of where senior citizens had the opportunities to be most engaged with the community-at-large
Rate of physical activity in each metro to get a sense of which communities offer the most opportunities for activity
Percentage of residents ages 65 and over who moved into the metro that year so we could see how desirable seniors find these metrosMedical quality and cost:
The percentage of hospital discharges of Medicare enrollees that were for conditions considered preventable with adequate primary care
The average cost that Medicare pays per enrollee in a given metro
The percentage of people aged 65 or older who are up-to-date on their core preventive services, such as flu shots and cancer screeningsThe availability and quality of different kinds of assisted care:
We looked at the number of home nursing service providers registered with Medicare per 100,000 residents because the availability of home nursing may be essential to those who age in place
The average Medicare rating of registered home nursing service providers
The number of nursing home beds registered with Medicare per 100,000 residents because sometimes people do require temporary or permanent intensive residential care and sometimes on very short notice
The number of continuing care retirement communities registered with Medicare per 100,000 residents because these communities (a subset of nursing homes) offer a bridge between independent living in private apartments (with some community and medical amenities such as dining rooms, group activities, physical therapy) and more intensive nursing care in the same facility
The average Medicare rating of registered nursing homesCost of living:
Median monthly housing costs because whether renting or owning, retirees are on fixed incomes and the ability to afford housing is crucial to aging in place
Regional prices for goods and services because the salary bumps of living in more expensive places no longer apply to those who are no longer working
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This blog is dedicated to the memory of my dear friend, Carrie Hecht
who worked tirelessly to gain better service, respect and dignity for her fellow residents.
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