Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I obtain information for more than four locations?

A: Please contact our research team by using the form in the “Contact Us” section if you would like information for more than four locations.

2. If I use your data in a report or share it electronically, how should I cite it?

A: Please cite our data as: Elder Index. (2019). The Elder Index™ [Public Dataset]. Boston, MA: Gerontology Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston. Retrieved from ElderIndex.org

3. What is included in the health care cost?

A: Elder Index health care costs include Medicare Part B health insurance premiums, premiums for supplemental coverage including prescription drug coverage, and out-of-pockets costs. For additional information, please refer to “About the Elder Index” section.

4. What does “Miscellaneous” include?

A: The miscellaneous category includes all essentials other than housing, food, health care, and transportation. This includes, for example, clothing, household items, personal hygiene items, and telephone service. For more information, please refer to “About the Elder Index” section.

5. Where can I find more information about your methodology?

A: For more information on the data and methods used to calculate the Elder Index, please see The National Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index: Methodology Overview.

6. I would like to use your data for a report. Who should I contact for more information?

A: Please contact our research team by using the form in the “Contact Us” section.

7. What’s the difference between the Elder Index and the Federal Poverty Line (FPL)?

A: The Elder Index is built around everyday expenses encountered by older adults and is designed to be a realistic benchmark of income adequacy that reflects regional and local variations in cost of living, while the FPL is a nation-wide average that does not account for age, location, or inflation variability in cost of living for most categories. For a comparison of the Elder Index to the FPL, see The National Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index: Methodology Overview.

8. What internet browsers are preferable when using your website?

A: The Elder Index website is best used with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Microsoft Edge browsers. The Elder Index website is not optimized for use with Internet Explorer.

9. My browser isn't properly displaying the charts and tables. What can I do?

A: The Elder Index website is best viewed when the browser window is in full size.