Document Type

Research Report

Publication Date



This report will address the question of income adequacy for Illinois’ older adults using the national WOW-GI National Elder Economic Security Standard Index (the Index) methodology. The Index will benchmark basic costs of living for elder households. It will illustrate how costs of living vary geographically and are based on the characteristics of elder households: household size, homeownership or renter, mode of transportation, and health status. The costs are for basic needs of elder households; they are based on market costs and do not assume any subsidies.


The multi-year national Elder Economic Security Initiative (Initiative) at Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) offers a conceptual framework and concrete tools to shape public policies and programs to promote the economic well-being of older adults. The Initiative combines coalition building, research, education and advocacy at the community, state and national levels. With support from the Retirement Research Foundation, WOW partnered with five pilot states, California, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Illinois and Wisconsin, to launch the national Initiative. Support from The Atlantic Philanthropies will expand the project in up to twenty states, including Minnesota, Connecticut, New Jersey, Michigan, New Mexico, New York, West Virginia, Washington, Colorado, Iowa, North Carolina and South Dakota in an effort that will ultimately result in a national database with information on all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

This report was funded by the Retirement Research Foundation.



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