Resources — Reports

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The MetLife Study of Women, Retirement, and the Extra-Long Life: Implications for Planning

Women are at high risk for outliving their retirement savings—but the good news is they can do something about it. By studying women ages 50 to 70, the MetLife Mature Market Institute determined that they face different challenges than men—including lower retirement incomes, higher lifetime health care costs and the savings-sapping job of providing care for others throughout their lives. Also a problem: women often are left out of financial planning strategies by spouses or don’t give retirement issues proper attention until it’s too late. This report reveals that women who take charge of their finances and have support from others—spouse, child, friend or professional—can avoid the “perilous paradox” of living longer than men with less financial security. The authors detail eye-opening data and offer straightforward advice to keep the average woman from becoming just another statistic.


Broken Trust: Elders, Family and Finances

Older people are frequent victims of get-rich schemes that seem too good to be true. Financial abuse of elders is “underrecognized, underreported and underprosecuted,” according to this report, which examines just how widespread the problem has become and how demoralizing it is for its victims. Women may be prime targets, but older men—often alone and vulnerable—become prey as well. And sadly, this exploitation is not just perpetrated by scam artists and unscrupulous strangers but by people the victim knows. The report includes headline-news stories of abuse by career criminals, caregivers, a judge and family members. It suggests ways older people can be protected and emphasizes how important it is for caregivers, family members and professionals, such as accountants, bankers and attorneys, to identify financial abuse and its devastating consequences.


Valuing the Invaluable: 2011 Update—The Growing Contributions and Costs of Family Caregiving

For a family member who commits to providing at-home care to a loved one, the toll is far more than physical and emotional: lost wages and retirement savings can become serious issues. Valuing the Invaluable sheds light on the lack of public support for home caregivers, from shortages of visiting health providers to scarce meal delivery options, tricky transportation and all the costs that care providers may have to shoulder on their own. While institutional care comes with a high price tag, this report discusses the very real costs to individuals and families when an aging person prefers to remain at home.


Sick and in the Red

The skyrocketing costs of health care—including insurance premiums, co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses—have created “medically indebted households,” states the 2010 report Sick and in the Red from the Access Project, a public policy and research advocacy group. In over 2,200 telephone interviews with low- and middle-income people about their credit card balances, researchers found that medical debt has families emptying savings and retirement accounts and dipping into their home equity. This causes credit ratings to drop, forcing families to pay higher interest on bank loans, credit cards and insurance. Providing a clear picture of the economic impact of medical debt on American families, the report also discusses the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, part of President Obama's health care reform initiative, and suggests interim measures.


Global Aging Report: Threats to Longevity a Call to Action

As the world grows older, all nations are dealing with aging populations. In this report, the International Longevity Center and its Global Alliance focus on discrepancies in life expectancy, which is increasing in some countries even as it declines in others (a problem they call “shortgevity”). The report gives a clear sense of the countless complicated issues—including caregiving, housing and chronic diseases of affluence or poverty—that all countries must deal with as their populations age. It also offers some insight into just how differently each nation sets its priorities and addresses the challenges that lie ahead.


Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults

Can all Americans age with dignity and purpose? Improving the Lives of LGBT Older Adults increases our awareness of the challenges facing aging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults. The report illuminates the many discrepancies and inequities facing this population: outdated and discriminatory laws, public policy and social stigmas, piled right on top of the issues everyone faces with age—financial security, health and health care, and social and community support.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender adults often are denied housing and turned away from mainstream programs for older people. This report brings to light inequalities of Social Security, retirement programs and VA benefits. Even in these more enlightened times, loved ones often have to fight for hospital visitation and the power to make medical decisions for those in their care. Here, both leading LGBT-rights and aging advocates team up to raise awareness of these injustices.


A Practical Guide to Achieving and Maintaining Cognitive Vitality with Aging

To combat memory changes and slower mental processing that come with age, eat right, never stop learning and play some games. That's advice from the ISOA, whose sole mission is to prevent and treat Alzheimer's and cognitive problems. This guide to keeping mental faculties sharp offers tips and debunks myths. For instance, proper rest, exercise and regular social activity can keep depression at bay and, contrary to common belief, a brain can rewire well into later life if given intellectual stimulation.


What Today's Woman Needs to Know and Do: The New Retirement Journey

Everything you wanted to know about finances in retirement but were afraid to ask? Almost! WISER, a nonprofit dedicated to women's retirement issues, and MetLife Mature Market Institute teamed up to create this pamphlet-style, easy-to-digest report. It explores how to find a job with good benefits, explains such things as long-term-care insurance and annuities, demonstrates how Social Security will work for you in later years, and suggests how to protect your financial assets. A decade-by-decade checklist outlines investment strategies and financial goal setting from age 20 through 70. Whether you are 21, 61 or in between, if you don't know how to begin planning for retirement, this bare-bones guide is an excellent place to get the basics.


Aging in Poverty: A Call to Action

Service agencies face a challenge in helping families and caregivers find available and appropriate assistance. This report from Families in Society—a journal published by the Alliance of Children and Families—explores how agencies address the issue of poverty among the elderly. It examines promising models, including volunteer outreach ambassadors and one-stop-shopping agencies, and serves as a call to action for social service professionals to work together toward a common goal of finding new ways to fund programs for seniors who cannot make ends meet.


A Snapshot of People's Engagement in Their Healthcare

When it comes to health care, it is much healthier to be an informed consumer than a passive bystander. A Snapshot of People's Engagement in Their Healthcare spells it out—what exactly engaged health care is, the long-term implications of not engaging, and why it is more important than ever to be an educated, proactive patient. CFAH’s mission is to prepare Americans to make informed health decisions; this report reveals where people are failing as consumers to make the best choices, both individually and as caregivers. The statistics presented here, gathered in surveys of a cross-section of Americans representing all backgrounds and abilities, are remarkable: 50 percent of people diagnosed with high blood pressure don't check it regularly, only 37 percent are at a healthy weight and more than 50 percent don't bother with checkups at all. The report encourages the nation as a whole to take health care seriously, now.


The New Unemployables

Older job seekers have a harder time than younger ones competing for the same jobs. According to this report, workers 55 and older are less likely to be hired, more likely to be under-employed or accept a part-time position, and more often join the ranks of the long-term unemployed. Comparing coping and financial strategies between the 55-and-up group and what it calls “prime-age workers” (age 18 to 54), the Sloan Center on Aging and Work reveals that the younger set use different job search strategies and are more willing to seek additional training for reemployment. But it doesn't end there—ageism and employer bias can be an issue for 55-plus individuals, and only 1 percent say they feel hopeful about getting back to work anytime soon.


The MetLife Report on American Grandparents: New Insights for a New Generation of Grandparents

American grandparents today are younger, wealthier and more numerous than ever before—65 million strong. According to recent data, one in four adults is a grandparent, with most between the ages of 45 and 64. Most are college educated and still working, and one out of three heads a multigenerational household. These grandparents are spending more of their own income on their grandchildren, investing in everything from infant equipment and clothing to school tuition and mortgages. All of this adds up to some significant economic changes. This report foresees a bright future for today’s younger generation, thanks to the generosity of their grandparents.


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Our Mission

The Silver Century Foundation promotes a positive view of aging. The Foundation challenges entrenched and harmful stereotypes, encourages dialogue between generations, advocates planning for the second half of life, and raises awareness to educate and inspire everyone to live long, healthy, empowered lives.

Notable Quote

"It is not by muscle, speed, or physical dexterity that great things are achieved, but by reflection, force of character, and judgment; in these qualities old age is usually not poorer, but is even richer."

Cicero (106-43 BC)