Raw Data: Projected Poverty Among the Elderly

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The current rate of poverty among the elderly is 9.8 percent, compared to 15.7 percent for those under age 65. But what about the future? The Social Security Administration projects that poverty rates will continue to decline for the elderly. About 7 percent of depression babies, who started retiring in 1990, currently live in poverty, compared to a forecast of 5.7 percent for Gen Xers, who will begin retiring in 2030. However, these averages hide some stark differences:

Not all groups are expected to do so well. Among high school dropouts, poverty rates are projected to increase from 13.5 percent to 24.9 percent…before declining to 18 percent for [GenXers]….Given the projected increase in minorities and immigrants, as well as the historic increase in women’s labor force participation, retirees with low labor force attachment are increasingly low-educated, low-skilled, and disabled. Not surprisingly, those retirees are projected to have very high poverty rates.

By 2030, SSA forecasts that poverty will be all but eradicated for every income group except one: the very poorest. This is unsurprising but nonetheless far-reaching in its policy implications: If you are poor during your working career you will continue to be poor when you retire. If not, then not. Our retirement programs should be set accordingly.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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