Financial Fragility - The New School SCEPA

Policy Note | In the United States, high overall rates of home ownership among households aged 55–64 obscure a vital reality. Many low-income older households risk financial fragility because they are renters and high rent burdens inhibit their ability to save for emergencies. Even middle- and high-income households who own their own homes risk housing-related financial fragility due to high mortgage debt. Overall rates of financial fragility, which include non-housing debt and emergency savings, remain high for all older households regardless of income. Our policy recommendations focus on supporting higher wages, solidifying emergency savings, and reforming the retirement system to reduce financial fragility at older ages.