The Poor, the Rich, and the Insecure Elderly Caught in Between

Economic well-being depends both on the ability of current income and in-kind services to meet consumption needs and on future income flows, assets, and insurance holdings that can be drawn upon to cover the costs of uncertain contingencies. Private insurance can be purchased to cover specific health-care costs, the sudden death of an income earner, or job-related disability. Publicly funded disability, retirement, survivor, and health insurance provides basic protection against those risks to most elderly. Finally, cash and in-kind, means-tested transfers insure that individuals’ economic status will fall no further than a minimum floor.

Author(s): Karen C. Holden; Timothy M. Smeeding

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Volume 68, Issue 2 (pages 191–219)
Published in 1990