“Elder Economic Security: How Data Help Inform Advocacy” is the Focus of NJFA’s Free Oct. 15 Webinar 

“Elder Economic Security: How Data Help Inform Advocacy” is the Focus of NJFA’s Free Oct. 15 Webinar 

UMass Boston gerontology expert shares

the cost of living for older adults in New Jersey 

TRENTON, NJ (Oct. 13, 2020) – Since 2008, NJ Foundation for Aging (NJFA) has been focused on the economic security of older adults in the Garden State. When NJ’s inaugural Elder Index was published by NJFA in 2009, in partnership with the Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, NJFA was at the forefront of discussing the financial realities of retiring in New Jersey.


On Oct. 15 at 11 a.m., NJFA will present the third and final free webinar in its Policy Series, sponsored by Archer Law Office, LLC, with “Elder Economic Security: How Data Help Inform Advocacy,” featuring Jan Mutchler, Ph.D. (pictured). Mutchler is Professor of Gerontology in the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, and Director of the Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging (CSDRA) in the Gerontology Institute at UMass, Boston. Register for the webinar at njfoundationforaging.org.


The Elder Index is a tool that measures the income older adults need to meet necessary expenses for housing, health care, food, transportation, and other essentials, while staying independent in their own homes. It is used by policymakers, older adults, family caregivers, service providers, aging advocates and the public at large. NJ’s statewide Elder Index report, previously produced three times with the support of NJFA, is now produced by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services.


Mutchler will explain the Elder Index in greater detail and provide an overview of the Elder Index for NJ. She’ll discuss how it can be used to measure economic insecurity among older adults. She’ll also review data describing the risk of economic insecurity in NJ and differences in that risk across demographic groups and by county. In addition, Mutchler will share initial thoughts about the financial impacts of the pandemic on older adults and lead a discussion on how organizations can use the Elder Index to promote awareness and advocate for older adults struggling to get by.


The Gerontology Institute at UMass, Boston, continues to produce national data and promote a national dialogue on the issue of economic security in later life. Some of their current work can be found on the Institute Blog, including that the data reveals the inequities that exist in retirement and that older adults of color have a more difficult time with saving for retirement.

The Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging in the Gerontology Institute at UMass, Boston, seeks to meet data needs and address practical questions of concern to aging communities. The CSDRA produces and distributes the Elder Index, a cost-of-living measure for older adults in every county throughout the U.S. In addition, the CSDRA works with communities throughout Massachusetts in support of age-friendly initiatives. Mutchler conducts research on socioeconomic, cultural and family-based factors as they relate to outcomes central to well-being in later life, including health, health behaviors and family relationships. She is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America (Behavioral and Social Sciences Section) and serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Aging & Social Policy and Research on Aging.

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New Jersey Foundation for Aging (njfoundationforaging.org) is the only statewide nonprofit organization focused solely on providing leadership in public policy and education to enable older adults to live with independence and dignity in their communities. In addition to its policy leadership role, NJFA produces the award-winning Aging Insights, a monthly half-hour TV program promoting dialogue on critical issues for older adults and caregivers. The show can be seen on more than 70 public-access stations and njfoundationforaging.org/aging-insights. NJFA also presents an annual conference offering development opportunities and best practices for professionals entrusted with caring for senior citizens

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