A basic or “starting point” estimate of the annual cost of living for older adults, compiled county-by-county for some states in the United States.
By “older adults” is meant persons over 65 years of age, with Medicare, not working and living independently (not in a facility, and not in an intergenerational household). Separate amounts are estimated for persons in various categories:
The index was developed by Wider Opportunities for Women and the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The methodology is explained on their website. The actual reports are prepared locally, by state agencies, non-governmental organizations or others, but the use of a common methodology allows useful comparisons between locations in different states.
In some cases the local preparers have added categories they consider important in their state, such as use of private or public transportation, and health status.
Local preparation of the index has disadvantages as well. Some of the state reports are as old as five years, which in a period of high inflation would invalidate them.
For links to the index results for various states, access
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Last revised: 23 September 2012.