Senior Spotlight: The Middle-Income Challenge


You have often heard us talk about the sandwich generation with regards to adults whom are raising their children and taking care of aging parents at the same time. Today, our blog turns to a new kind of demographic who is stuck in the middle, and this time we are referring to income.

The National Investment Center (NIC) recently funded a study conducted at the University of Chicago and analyzed the needs of seniors in the middle market as “Americans who have too much in financial resources to qualify for government support programs such as Medicaid, but not enough to pay most private pay options for very long.” Results indicate that by 2029, there will be 14.4 million middle-income seniors, and about 55% of them will not be able to afford private pay senior housing at today’ s market rates. NIC Chief Economist Beth Burnham Mace believes that “…making seniors housing accessible to more middle-income seniors in the next decade requires innovation by real estate developers and investors to create and deliver affordable options.”

We all know that the above is easier said than done. Seniors need more affordable housing options – but building costs are not getting any cheaper. Caroline Pearson, lead researcher of the study conducted at the University of Chicago, suggests that “if the sector can develop products that appeal to middle-market consumers at a price they can afford, it will greatly expand the potential market for seniors housing and increase options for these underserved seniors.” Bellwether Enterprise’s SVP Rick Lynn has pinpointed that there are some state and federal programs that help finance homes for seniors – but that there are not enough to meet the need, especially at the middle-income level.

The NIC has stated that “If policymakers fail to act, aging middle-income earners risk exhausting their savings on long-term care, threatening their financial security and Medicaid’s long-term sustainability.” They also hope that their attention to this issue has created momentum for dialogue among institutional investors, private sector entrepreneurs and housing and healthcare policymakers.

Keep following our Senior Spotlight blog as we will be sure to follow the progress of this discussion and the implications of this data in the months and years to come.
All my best,
Bobbi Decker, SRES®, CIPS®
Broker Associate, Today Sotheby’s International Realty
Bobbi Decker & Associates
BRE 00607999
p. 650.346.5352
Bobbi Decker & Associates fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. For more information, please visit:
Resources Used:
No Place For Old Men: Middle-Income Seniors Facing A Shortage Of Housing Options
The Forgotten Middle: Middle Market Seniors Housing Study
We would also like to thank the SRES® Facebook page for shedding light on this important issue!

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