Wealth, Poverty, and Aging
Many of the positive images of aging and suggestions .on how to avoid the most negative aspects of ageism are based on an assumption of class privilege. meaning that people can alford plastic surgery. exercise classes. and social activities such as ballroom dancing or golf. and that they have available time and facilities to engage in pursuits that will “keep them young,” However.man)’ older people with meager incomes savings. and poor health. as well as those who are isolated in rural areas or high-crime sections of central cities. do If we compare wealth (all economic resources of value, whether they produce cash or not) with income(available money or \1;5 equivalent in purchasing power), w« find that older people tend to have more wealth but less income than younger people. Older people are more likely to own a home that has increased .substantially in market value; however, some may not have the available cash to pay property taxes, to buy insurance, and to maintain the property (Moody, 2002). Among older. persons, a wider range of assets and -ncome is seen than ill other age categories. Fur example, many of the wealthiest people un the Forbes list of the richest people in this country (see Chapter 8) are ever 65 years uf age. On the other hand, more than 1r percentof all people over 65 live in poverty.