Many Medicare beneficiaries, including seniors and younger adults with disabilities, live on fixed incomes supplemented by the savings they accumulated during their working years. Their income and accumulation of savings is tied to many life experiences, including their education, health status, marital status, number of work years, household income, periods of unemployment, investments, years of homeownership, access to employer retirement benefits, inheritance, other financial supports, and various economic factors. As a result, the income and assets of Medicare beneficiaries vary greatly. This data brief updates previous work that describes the income and assets of Medicare beneficiaries now and in the future. It incorporates updated projections about the current and future U.S. economy, and the effects of the economic downturn and recovery on current and future beneficiaries' income, savings, and home equity. This brief provides context for understanding the extent to which the current and future generations of beneficiaries can afford to absorb higher health care costs.
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