How well your Senior Product clients live in retirement depends on two things: their income and the local cost of living. A new study ranking each state based on how many of its retirees meet a basic standard of living comes up with an interesting combination of places that are financially friendly – or not – to those  65+. Example: 31% of Mississippi’s retired single people and 24% of its retired couples fall into what the study calls the “gap” between being poor and having barely enough income to cover basic expenses, shows a 50-state analysis by the University of Massachusetts. A general way to think about the people inhabiting this gap is that, while they are above the poverty line, they are still financially insecure.


Retired Couples in the Gap Between Poor

and a Basic Standard of Living

Retirees in the gap as a share of total retired population


The heart of the analysis is an “elder index” specific to each state, which estimates the income necessary to cover essential living costs: rent, food, transportation, health care, a phone and household items. (Vacations, dining out and entertainment are not included in the estimates). Agents might find this information helpful when discussing insurance products and state-specific demographics and expenses.



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