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AARP Foundation

New Report Examines Who Ends Up in Poverty — And Why

Living with low income often stems from factors beyond an individual's control. A new report by AARP Foundation and the Urban Institute examines four key factors that drive people into poverty: loss of employment, onset of disability, marital dissolution, and limited educational attainment. 

The report found that, in 2019, poverty rates among adults over 65 reached 18.0% for non-Hispanic Black people, 17.1% for Hispanic people, and 20.3% for Indigenous people, compared with 6.8% for non-Hispanic white people. The poverty rate for Asians and Pacific Islanders was 9.2%. Overall, non-Hispanic white people accounted for approximately half of all people over 50 who were living in poverty.

Executive Summary

Full Report

Participant and Volunteer Stories

At AARP Foundation, a crucial measure of our success is the stories we get to tell about the people we serve. They’re stories of resilience and tenacity. Of commitment and community. Most of all, they’re stories of transformation. 

Read stories about how our programs have helped people find hope, and about the volunteers who give so much of themselves to help others. And if your life has been transformed by your involvement with one of AARP Foundation’s programs, we want to hear your story, too. 

Read More Stories


Meet Cynthia Fernandez: BACK TO WORK 50+ Program Participant

Find out how BACK TO WORK 50+ gave Cynthia Fernandez the tools to find a new job in the middle of a pandemic.

Meet Willie Jean Vance: Experience Corps Volunteer

Read about Willie Jean, who finds teaching young kids to become great readers a moving experience.

Need Help? Find Support Services in Your Area

Local Assistance Directory

Search our Local Assistance Directory to find food, housing, health and employment programs in your area. You'll also find programs related to help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including programs for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Get Help With Your High-Speed Internet Bill

If you’re struggling to pay for high-speed internet access, you may be eligible for a discount through the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program. Eligible households can qualify for up to $30 a month, while households on qualifying Tribal lands could receive a discount of up to $75 a month.

Find Rent and Mortgage Assistance

The first step to getting rent payment or mortgage assistance when facing financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic is knowing where to look. Answer a few simple questions to get connected with free eviction or foreclosure assistance.

Programs That Help Put Money in Your Pocket See More

A rapidly changing economy and technological advances are fundamentally altering the nature of work — and that makes it more crucial than ever for older adults to learn new skills that will help them compete for today’s in-demand jobs. AARP Foundation equips older adults with the resources, know-how and training they need to unlock economic opportunity and build financial resilience.


AARP Foundation is partnering with employers to create a pipeline of trained older workers to meet workforce needs

AARP Foundation SCSEP

55 or older, unemployed and looking for work? Find out how we can help.

AARP Foundation Property Tax-Aide

AARP Foundation is making it easier for homeowners and renters to apply for property tax refund and credit programs. 

Work for Yourself@50+

Download the Work for Yourself@50+ toolkit to get started on your self-employment journey.

Find Help

Find the Local Help You Need

You can quickly and easily find help available in your own community through our Find Help page.

Manage Your Money From Home

Access free, easy-to-use financial technology tools from AARP Foundation and Chase. ·

Get Help with Groceries

If your food budget isn’t going far enough, SNAP can help make ends meet.

Workforce and Finance Resilience

If you’re out of work call our free Work Resources Hotline at 1-855-850-2525 for information about programs and services that can help get you back to work and connect you to community resources.

Status of Local Programs and Workshops

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, AARP Foundation is prioritizing the health of those we serve and the community at large. All of our in-person events are on hold for now, based on local health guidance.

The following programs are affected:

  • AARP Foundation Experience Corps - Programs are offering structured tutoring sessions in-person and virtually, based on schools’ and students’ needs as well as local health guidance. For additional information, please contact your local program office. 
  • Work for Yourself@50+ - With in-person workshops on hold for now, several of our community partners are hosting Work for Yourself@50+ workshops online. Please visit Work for Yourself@50+ to register for an online workshop.
  • BACK TO WORK 50+ - In-person workshops have been suspended for now; please call 855-850-2525 to find out about the availability of online workshops in your area. 

General announcements about AARP Foundation and its services will be updated on this page. Be sure to follow CDC guidelines (as detailed at while participating in any AARP Foundation programs and services.


Tackling Senior Poverty: Programs and Services

AARP Foundation Experience Corps

Experience Corps connects students with caring adult volunteers age 50 and older who provide an essential combination of training, life experience and commitment. The program helps children read at grade level so that they have the opportunity to succeed in school and in life.

Legal Advocacy

AARP Foundation attorneys protect the rights of older adults, making sure they have a voice in the nation’s courts.

Charity Rating

AARP Foundation earns a high rating for accountability from a leading charity evaluator.

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