Dynamics of Financial Hardship in the United States: Health and Retirement Study 2006-2016.

TitleDynamics of Financial Hardship in the United States: Health and Retirement Study 2006-2016.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsMarshall, GL, Bayaz-Ozturk, G, Kahana, E, Gallo, WT, Seghal, A
JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
ISSN Number1540-4048
KeywordsFinancial hardship, Older Adults, Poverty, temporal trends

The purpose of this study was to examine the temporal trends and dynamics of financial hardship among older adults in the U.S. between 2006 and 2016 using the Health and Retirement Study. Sample included a total of 13,537 eligible person observations with a median age of 68 years. Financial hardship included measures of difficulty paying bills, food insecurity, taking less medication due to cost, and ongoing financial strain. Regression analyses were performed using a three-wave quadrennial model to estimate the prevalence of financial hardship over time, to explore temporal patterns and identify persistent hardship. Findings reveal that 51% of respondents who experienced food insecurity at one or more waves were transient. This pattern was similar to respondents who experienced ongoing financial strain (52% transient). Respondents who reported difficulty paying bills (68%) and reduced medications due to cost (62%) were also transient. Significant predictors across all four domains of financial hardship include age, years of education, marital status, self-rated health. Being African American was positively associated with reduced medication use and food insecurity. This study provides insight into the temporal dynamics of financial hardship in later life. It also highlights the contiguous, intermediate and transient nature of financial hardship among older adult populations.

Citation Key11777
PubMed ID34330197