The demographic of Latinos aged more than 65 is expected to grow from what was 8% of the older adult population in 2016 to more than 20% by 2060, a recent report by NBC News noted, citing government statistics.
Older Latinos already face housing, health and caregiving challenges, the media outlet noted, adding that the economic and social effects in the future will be significant. The property manager of an affordable senior housing complex in Washington, D.C., told NBC News that many Latino older adults seeking affordable housing no longer can work, have limited English-language skills and haven’t been able to save as much since they’ve sent a lot of money to family members in their home countries. Meanwhile, housing costs have risen in the United States.
“When Social Security was instituted, then Medicare built on top of it, the assumption was that at age 65, Latinos would get both,” David Hayes-Bautista, Ph.D., a professor of public health and medicine and director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the UCLA School of Medicine, told the media outlet. “That is not the case because some industries were exempt from Social Security — agriculture was exempted, domestic service was exempted,” he added.
As a result, older Latino immigrants did not pay into Social Security when they were working, and fewer have Medicare coverage compared with non-Latino older adults. They also are less likely to have a private pension.