To better understand the potential financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults, NCOA and the LeadingAge LTSS Center @ UMass Boston analyzed data from the most recent economic downturn in 2008.
The result is a series of three issue briefs that highlights the economic costs of the pandemic that could await older Americans during the extended shut-down of the economy. Older adults in general suffer declines in net wealth during large and unanticipated economic downturns and, unlike younger adults, they have less time to make up such losses to bolster their retirement savings. Minority older adults and older single-person households often experience even more significant negative impacts.
Researchers analyzed the nationally representative, longitudinal data in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) from 2006 to 2010 to assess the immediate pre- and post-recession impacts on those 60 and older, as well as minority older adults, and older single-person households. They also examined how the economic downturn affected older households by focusing on changes in poverty rates over the period between 2006 and 2010.