NCOA Awarded Grant from Retirement Research Foundation to Provide EconomicCheckUp for Vulnerable Older Adults
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NCOA Awarded Grant from Retirement Research Foundation to Provide EconomicCheckUp for Vulnerable Older Adults


August 31, 2011

Ken Schwartz
Director, Marketing & Communications

Grant Will Bring Strong Focus to Comprehensive Economic Needs of Disadvantaged Seniors

Washington, D.C. – The Retirement Research Foundation (RRF) has awarded a $1.125 million grant over three years to the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to develop a free online tool, called EconomicCheckUp®, that will assist millions of struggling older adults. The Foundation’s timely support will also allow for critical investments in the evaluation of NCOA’s multi-site direct service Economic Security Initiative.

Today, 1 in 3 older adults lives in or on the edge of poverty. The economic recession has hit these seniors hard, and a lifetime of work has turned into a daily struggle to stay healthy and make ends meet.

By utilizing EconomicCheckUp®, community organizations participating in NCOA’s national Economic Security Initiative can outline a plan to help vulnerable older adults obtain benefits to pay for costs such as prescriptions, utilities, and food, and provide them with a path to future economic well-being through debt management, housing assistance, money management, employment opportunities, and more.

EconomicCheckUp® will build upon NCOA’s successful BenefitsCheckUp® portal ( which helps seniors identify federal, state, and local benefits for which they are eligible. Over the last 10 years, BenefitsCheckUp® has connected 3 million seniors with over $10 billion in needed benefits.

“With limited income, many low-income seniors struggle to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, utility bills, food, and housing costs,” said Sandra Nathan, senior vice president for economic security at NCOA. “Thanks to the leadership of The Retirement Research Foundation, NCOA will make available to all seniors and their caregivers an online tool that looks at all economic needs at once, helping vulnerable seniors identify the resources available to them to find a path back to safety and security, and remain a vibrant part of their community.”

“We are deeply committed to economic security for all older adults,” said Irene Frye, executive director of The Retirement Research Foundation. “This opportunity allows NCOA to give vulnerable seniors a comprehensive assessment of their economic situation and summarize the range of options that best meets their needs. We are extremely pleased to help bring this much needed program to fruition.”

For additional information on NCOA’s national Economic Security Initiative and current efforts in 14 communities, please visit Funding for the initiative was originally provided by the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation and Bank of America Charitable Foundation.

About RRF  The Retirement Research Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life for our nation’s elders. It is one of the nation’s first private foundations devoted exclusively to aging and retirement issues. It awards grants each year in support of programs, research, advocacy, and training to improve the quality of life for older Americans who are vulnerable due to frailty associated with advanced age; facing economic disadvantage and at greatest risk of falling through the safety net, and experiencing disparities related to race and ethnicity. For more information, visit


About NCOA The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a respected national leader and trusted partner to help people aged 60+ meet the challenges of aging. Our mission is to improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. Through innovative community programs and services, online help, and advocacy, NCOA is partnering with nonprofit organizations, government, and business to improve the health and economic security of 10 million older adults by 2020. Learn more at and @NCOAging.

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