More than 56 million low- to moderate-income adults in America are over the age of 50, with 13 million of them considered Financially Vulnerable.
Step into their homes to learn firsthand about their daily joys and struggles as they navigate their financial lives in their golden years. This video series offers an intimate look at their challenges, including savings shortfalls, debt burdens, medical shocks, and multigenerational households.
Pay for your medication or buy dinner? Many older adults living on fixed incomes have to make daily trade-offs like these, even if they’re able to supplement their steady paychecks or Social Security checks. This episode provides a glimpse into life on a fixed income, where constant budgeting doesn’t guarantee you can afford basics like groceries. Explore the realities of life for those who have officially retired and others who are still working and struggling to afford life in their later years.
Sharing a home with grandchildren, parents, or children is a familiar story these days, as more people over 50 find themselves living in multigenerational households. From helping with rent to pitching in with childcare, the benefits can be immeasurable – but having multiple generations under one roof isn’t always easy. This episode takes a step inside the joys and challenges that come with this dynamic living situation.
Chronic healthcare issues are not only challenging for the people diagnosed, but for the loved ones taking care of them. These emotional and financial challenges grow exponentially when medical coverage and healthcare-related debt enter the picture. This episode takes you inside the lives of three families experiencing the challenges of caregiving and attempting to navigate countless financial roadblocks as they plan for an uncertain future.
Financial emergencies following a health scare are becoming increasingly common. Unexpected hospital stays or a sudden illness or injury can wipe out savings, leaving many people unable to afford day-to-day expenses. In some cases, medical issues can force people into early retirement, cutting off potential earnings for years to come. This episode provides a glimpse into life after medical shocks and the difficulties older adults face as they try to bounce back financially.
Once upon a time, retirement meant a paid-off house, a solid financial cushion, and time to relax. This episode explores how older adults approaching retirement today often find themselves unprepared financially and worried about what their future will actually look like. As for those who have already retired, the reality is often starkly different from the retirement they once imagined.
What would older adults tell their younger selves if they could go back in time and do things to make managing their finances easier later on? This episode features touching, endearing, and sage advice from older adults across the U.S.
Kathie A, 65
For Kathie, there is nothing better than living in rural Iowa and seeing deer run across the lawn of the home she shares with her husband. Money is tight but she prides herself on careful budgeting and prioritizing savings for upcoming expenses.
Stephanie B, 51
Stephanie, a 51-year-old substitute teacher, prides herself on homeschooling her three children on their family farm in southern Iowa. She is a master of budgeting and stretching a dollar, especially when it comes to utilizing the produce from the garden.
Paul D, 66
When the appliance manufacturing plant he worked at for 20 years closed, Paul decided to make farming his full-time job. Now at 66, the daily 5am wake up calls and recent injuries have made retirement an idea he can no longer ignore.
Ron E, 65
The 65-year-old lives with his wife, son and 5-year-old granddaughter in a multi-generational household. A cancer survivor and avid gardener, Ron takes his financial and health challenges in stride. Recently, he’s battled unemployment and savings shortfalls, but these obstacles have only made him more resilient.
Wilson F, 73
Living on a fixed income is quite difficult for Wilson, a 20-year resident of government housing in rural Alabama. Without a car, the 73-year-old has to rely on nonprofit services to get the groceries and medical care he needs. His favorite days are spent with friends barbecuing and watching a game.
Joyce G, 61
Las Vegas, NV
Joyce lives in a bustling, tight-knit household with her son, daughter-in-law, brother and five grandchildren. The avid cook and hostess is working on becoming a rideshare driver in order to afford her blood pressure medication and put savings away for her own car.
Larry N, 73
Las Vegas, NV
Larry, a former bartender in the hotel industry, has had to come to terms with retirement and the loss of a steady income due to liver disease. He and his wife, Koren, are attempting to make the best of their golden years by enjoying their retirement community and relying on the kindness of neighbors.
Verner R, 74
Verner, a self-published author and former public television talk show host has had to focus on “stretching a dollar.” Even with a higher degree and award recognition for her show, she found it difficult to save her income as a single-mother raising four children.
Howard S, 81
Howard, a retired mail carrier, lives with his two adult sons, including his youngest son, a 42-year-old with mental and physical disabilities. While his home is paid off, increasing taxes and an additional life insurance policy that will help his son when he’s gone, means Howard has little leftover from his pension each month.
Cathy W, 64
For Cathy, retirement looks far different than the one she imagined. The mother of five adult children lives with her 26-year-old daughter and 7-year-old grandson. Most mornings and afternoons, Cathy takes care of her grandson before leaving for her own job as a caregiver five nights a week.
Valerie W, 57
Finding love later in life was a blessing for Valerie, a 57-year-old resident of Eutaw, Alabama. But more than a decade later, Valerie finds herself as the main caretaker for her husband, a disabled Iraq War veteran who needs round-the-clock help.
Meet the Experts
Lisa Marsh Ryerson
Lisa Marsh Ryerson is the President of AARP Foundation. A bold, disciplined and collaborative leader, she works to create and advance effective solutions that help vulnerable older adults increase their economic opportunity and social connectedness through programs and services that truly change lives.
Alice Rodriguez is the Head of Community and Business Development for the Consumer Bank. She is responsible for helping to drive the growth and profitability of a portfolio of approximately $2B in revenue, and comprised of a national customer base of over ten million households.
Jennifer Tescher is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Health Network, the nation’s authority on financial health. She founded the Financial Health Network in 2004 and is a nationally known expert on building opportunities for financial health.
Andrew designs research initiatives, analyzes data, and reports findings. Most recently, he co-authored Redesigning the Financial Roadmap for the LMI 50+ Segment: New Challenges and Opportunities, research that looks at the financial struggles of lower-to-moderate income Americans over 50.
Arjun uses his various experiences in policy, entrepreneurship and financial services to support research and financial technology engagements. Previously, he worked at the Aspen Institute and supported policy initiatives on consumer debt, long-term savings and retirement and financial wellness programs.
Sarah is passionate about financial inclusion, both in the United States and internationally. As a senior director at the Financial Health Network, she oversees financial health work with a specific focus on insurance.