Research and Analysis by David M. Betson

Poverty Among the Aged Population: The Role of Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenditures and Annuitized Assets in Supplemental Poverty Measure Estimates
from Social Security Bulletin, Vol. 78, No. 1 (released February 2018)
by Koji Chavez, Christopher Wimer, David M. Betson, and Lucas Manfield

The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) does not account for the aged population's ability to draw from asset principal to cover living expenses. In this article, the authors ask two questions: (1) How much can we conservatively expect the aged to withdraw from their assets annually, and (2) To what extent would the inclusion of such assets alter the estimated proportion of the aged in SPM poverty—specifically, the proportion of the aged who are “pushed” into SPM poverty because of their medical out-of-pocket expenditures?