Promoting economic security for older adults

Revitalizing policies that benefit aging Americans


The U.S. population is aging rapidly. The fastest growing segment of the population is that of adults aged 85 and over. The supply of informal caregivers is declining relative to the demand for assistance with functional impairments. Together, these trends are putting stress on the public programs that support older adults including Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Estimates suggest that within a decade, the government will not be able to meet its full obligations for the Social Security and Medicare programs. Addressing the financial security and well-being of older adults demands a multi-pronged revisiting of our social programs. The target areas range from social insurance (Medicare and Social Security), income supports (Supplemental Security Income, Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and immigration policy to the challenges of protecting people against the costs of necessary long-term services and supports. ‘Promoting economic security for older adults’ is a project developed in Brookings’ Economic Studies program with the goal of revitalizing policies that benefit aging Americans. To approach this wide-reaching problem, we are developing a set of proposals that offer practical strategies for addressing the challenges of an aging population in a manner that takes account of the vastly divergent views held by various stakeholders. Explore the reports below to learn more about the challenges facing older adults and the policies we can use to overcome them, and check back regularly as new research and analysis is added.