The economic downturn has hit seniors especially hard. Many have lost a significant portion of their retirement savings, but unlike younger Americans, retirees have less time to make up substantial stock market and 401(k) account losses. Low interest rates mean low returns on interest-bearing accounts that many seniors rely on. The decline in housing prices in many parts of the country is also causing difficulties for those seniors who need to tap the equity in their homes in order to fund their retirement. And, because of the economic crisis, more seniors are becoming dependent on Social Security.
That's why AARP is fighting to make health care more affordable through lower drug costs, relief to Social Security recipients because they didn't receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA) this year, and extensions of unemployment and health benefits for older Americans struggling to make ends meet.