New York Times writer John Leland has been following--as in, "reporting on"--six New Yorkers, aged 85 or older, since the beginning of the year. His story chronicles the plight of the urban elderly, many of whom fall into a financial "donut hole," too well-off for help, but too poor to live well.
They represent one of the fastest-growing age groups in New York, nearly doubling in number since 1980 — healthier, better educated and more independent than any like cohort before them. Many never planned to live this long, or to navigate a financial landscape as confounding as the one they are in now.In their lifetimes they have seen Social Security and Medicare greatly reduce poverty among older people. But in New York today, they face a challenge of prosperity.