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Daily Court Reporter - News Study finds Ohio is average when it comes to seniors' burden on state economy


Study finds Ohio is average when it comes to seniors' burden on state economy

BRANDON KLEIN, Daily Reporter Staff Writer

When it comes to senior citizens being a drag on a state's economy, Ohio is in the middle of the pack for that group's impact on its economy, according to a recent study.

The state ranks 23rd for seniors having a negative effect on its economy, according to the Economic Impact of Seniors By State report released late last month.

"Baby boomers are retiring in record numbers, depending on Social Security and Medicare, and putting a major strain on federal and state budgets. At the same time, a record number of seniors are working and contributing to the economy," a SeniorLiving spokeswoman said.

Findings were based on the weighing of two positive and two negative factors.

The percentage of seniors with a household income of $60,000 or more and in the workforce were considered the positives, while the percentage of seniors with Medicare coverage and receiving food stamp benefits were considered negative.

The study averaged the positives and negatives and subtracted the difference to calculate the net impact seniors have on state economies.

For example, 29 percent of Ohio's seniors had household incomes near or more than the national median of $61,000, while 27.9 percent of seniors were employed. The average

On the other hand, 57 percent of Ohio's seniors were on Medicare, while 6 percent of the state's seniors received food stamp benefits. The difference between the average positive and negative is more than 3 percent.

West Virginia had the highest net negative impact at 14 percent, followed by Arkansas (9.9 percent), Florida (9.6 percent), Alabama (9.3 percent), South Carolina (8.8 percent), North Carolina (8.8 percent), Mississippi (8.2 percent), Kentucky (7.3 percent), Missouri (6.9 percent) and Michigan (6.9 percent).

On the flip side, Alaska had the highest net positive impact at 15 percent, followed by Connecticut (8.2 percent), New Jersey (7.8 percent), Washington D.C. (7.7 percent), Maryland (7.8 percent), Hawaii (7.5 percent), Colorado (7 percent), New Hampshire (5.8 percent), Massachusetts (5 percent) and California (4.3 percent).

Seniors had a slight negative impact on the Midwest region with a regional average of 1.5 percent.

The south region had the highest negative average at 4.5 percent.

The Northeast's region had the highest positive average at 2.1 percent, followed by the West Coast at an average 1.8 percent.

Nationally, 28 percent of seniors participate in the workforce, while one-third of seniors have a household income of $60,000 or higher.

But 56 percent of seniors have Medicare coverage, while nearly 20 percent live at or near the poverty line. But senior poverty declined from 2009, according to the study.

"Everyone agrees that individuals who have worked hard their whole lives and helped contribute to society over the decades should not have to toil long into their golden years. But with population increases and economic uncertainty, that's seeming less and less likely," the report stated. "For those born after 1960, the earliest they can retire and collect full Social Security benefits is age 67, and with Social Security such a popular topic for political debate, it seems all but assured that the retirement goalposts will keep moving for those even younger."

Nearly two-thirds of all non-defense and non-debt federal spending will go to funding Social Security and Medicare by 2029, according to the study. Spending would have increased by 86 percent.

Date Published: April 9, 2019


Copyright © 2019 The Daily Reporter - All Rights Reserved


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