This synthesis of research findings from the Middle Class Security Project shows that if current economic trends continue, living standards in retirement will decline; that rising health care costs will pose a significant threat to middle class security; and that Social Security will be the main source of income for all but the wealthiest retirees in the future. The paper identifies the following major themes from the project:
- The security of middle class families is under attack from all sides—besieged by stagnating income; escalating debt; and rising costs for housing, education and health care.
- Middle class security in retirement takes a lifetime to build.
- A threat to one generation undermines security for all.
The report concludes with policy recommendations to deal with the threats to middle-class security. It calls for increasing access to affordable health care coverage and slowing the growth of health care costs. It also recommends ensuring Social Security continues to provide the foundation for a secure middle-class retirement and is improved for those most vulnerable.