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Harvard Study Paints Bleak Picture for Retiring Baby Boomers PDF Print E-mail

April 15, 2015 – A study by the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies shows that many retiring baby boomers will face significant challenges as a result of housing affordability issues. The study states that, “As the baby boomers continue to age, the population aged 65 and older is projected to soar to 73 million by 2030, an increase of 33 million in just two decades. Given a larger older population, and assuming that the current income distribution remains the same, we can expect to see an increase in the numbers of lower-income older adults; indeed, in just a decade we estimate that households 65 and over earning less than $15,000 annually will increase by 37 percent to 6.5 million.”


The study shows that majority current low-income households over 65 years of age live in unaffordable housing. It goes on to tie the high cost of housing to reduced spending ability on food, healthcare and transportation; all necessities.

The study also shows that the number of people with unaffordable housing is already growing rapidly. From 2003 to 2013, families that were the most severely burdened by housing costs increased by 31% as the number of retiring baby boomers grew.  This group of people is spending more than 50% of their income on housing costs.

byJim Malmberg

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