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Now is the time to focus on housing for retirees

Posted: June 4, 2013

Paul Krugman had an excellent piece in yesterday’s New York Times, The Geezers are All Right, commenting on the reassuring report by the Congressional Budget Office on the solvency of both Social Security and Medicare.  The latest projections indicate we can sustain these critical social insurance programs into the foreseeable future and everyone paying attention to the rise in the senior population will breathe a sigh of relief.

Dr. Krugman’s conclusion is: “it’s time to stop obsessing about how we’ll pay benefits to retirees in 2035 and focus instead on how we’re going to provide jobs to unemployed Americans in the here and now.”

To that I would add, “and it’s also time to start focusing on the ways we are going to provide housing to the retirees whose Social Security benefits will never provide sufficient resources to afford decent housing AND medicines, food and heat.”

Seniors have the greatest degree of poverty and all experts agree that most baby boomers will entire retirement with far less savings than they will need, even for those solidly in the middle class.  In Massachusetts, the gap between average senior income and cost-of-living is the greatest in the nation and 53% of seniors pay more than they can afford for their housing—and this will only get worse as our population ages.

Big phew on the social insurance programs—but let’s find a quality living environments for our seniors!

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