AGING IN AMERICA

The Numbers

Federal Poverty Level vs. Elder Index

Poverty is a common thread among seniors across the country. Many are struggling to pay for necessities such as meals and prescription medication. Making ends meet is a constant balancing act. The majority of the seniors who are living in poverty receive some form of government assistance such as Social Security and Medicare. These funds are critical but often aren’t enough.

The Federal Poverty Level (FPL) was created in 1964 with a one-size-fits-all calculation and does not factor in regional differences. FPL is the same in San Diego, CA as it is in Waterloo, IA. Although adjusted every year for inflation, the formula for calculating FPL has not changed since it was devised.

UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research developed the Elder Index, a measurement that uses region-specific data to calculate basic income needs for food, housing, healthcare and transportation.

Federal Poverty Level

$1,012/month or $12,140/year – This is the calculated income needed for an individual person to pay for food, housing, healthcare and transportation.

Elder Index: San Diego

$1,974/month or $23,688/year – This is the calculated income needed for a single San Diego senior — who rents their dwelling — to pay for food, housing, healthcare and transportation.

$1,385/month or $16,620/year – This is the calculated income needed for a single San Diego senior — who owns their home and has no mortgage left to pay — to pay for food, housing, healthcare and transportation.

Many California seniors fall below the Elder Index:

What Does This Mean?

What Does Serving Seniors Do?

Research Reports

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