Income and Health-Care Insecurity Among the Mexican-Origin Elderly
In the presentation we have taken a life-course perspective and investigated the ways in which parental occupational disadvantages affect children and how they affect health-care access and retirement plans for Mexican-origin adult men and women. Following the life-course logic, we now address the situation of older Hispanics. Given our focus on retirement and health benefits, we begin by examining the situation of individuals approaching retirement, as well as those of retirement age. As we show, the low incomes and lack of health and retirement plans that we documented among younger workers in earlier chapters have serious negative implications for the retirement security of older Hispanic men and women. Without the accumulated assets and the savings that a high income makes possible, older individuals with mixed work histories find themselves dependent on Social Security for income and Medicare alone for health care. Although Social Security and Medicare provide a badly needed safety net for older individuals with nothing else, they can leave an older individual or couple in danger of serious economic hardship or incomplete health care.