Reduced income in old age
Income maintenance after retirement
Inadequate pension income
Poverty of the elderly
In a number of countries, projected state pension funds will be insufficient for the needs of a growing population of elderly retirees. The tying pensions to cost-of-living indexes is being undermined and there have been attempts to de-couple payments from index rates, on a supposedly temporary basis. Inflation, for some commodities and necessary expenditures, has exceeded the index adjustments, so that retired people have difficulty sustaining the diet, the amount of home heating and the automobile usage, for example, that they were accustomed to. Personal property and real estate local taxes may be too heavy for them and proper medical care, including hospitalization, treatments and appliances may be too costly to be borne. Sole reliance on government pensions means immediate poverty for many retirees who are forced to sell their homes, or even to move away entirely from the district in which they spent their lives and have their families and friends, in order to find cheaper shelter. As people age, the economic and social structures which they created for the earlier years of their life must give way to new ones. Many people have no replacement for the loss of family home, employment, spouse, and friends as these things are lost. Thrown into a situation of economic dependence, elderly people often must struggle to get the simplest necessities of living. Even those fortunate enough to find themselves receiving social benefits of some kind find it difficult to adjust to a new style of spending.