Employment & Economic Security
Our community survey and focus groups found that the cost of living throughout the Bay Area is a prominent concern among older adults. Many older people are worried they won't be able to afford their property taxes or rent, and the cost of transportation and food continue to rise. Retiring may be a financial impossibility for many people in Berkeley. It is critical to ensure there are local job opportunities for people of all ages and abilities and adequate financial support and advice for those who can no longer work.
Age Friendly Resources
Nonprofit & University
Community Survey Results
While many older adults expressed interest in job training, flexible jobs for older people, and jobs that are adapted for older people, few thought these resources were available.
Focus groups and survey respondents consistently named financial security and the cost of living in the Bay Area as their top issues. When looking at how older adults rated Berkeley as a place to age on the survey, answers vary by income group, with higher income groups more likely to rate Berkeley as "Excellent/Good" and less likely to rate it as "Not so Good/Poor"
According to the Alameda County Plan for Older Adults 2016-2017,
of Berkeley residents age 60+ said they were "concerned" or "very concerned" about having enough income to meet their basic needs
"Income for basic needs"
was the top concern among older adults county-wide and in Berkeley
Infrastructure and Policy: Financial stress is common among older adults in Berkeley. There is a wide range of incomes that are creating a disparity in how residents view the city as a place where they can stay as they age. To prevent further displacement, there needs to be more affordable housing units and other programs to help people stay in their communities.
Equity and Inclusion: There are not enough jobs that offer the flexibility and accommodations that some older workers are looking for. This is a major issue for those who are choosing to work longer and those who need to because of financial concerns. Access to jobs needs to be addressed through policy and business incentives.
Information: Though the city has a number of programs designed to help low-income seniors, it is clear from focus groups that not everyone is aware of these programs. Additionally, there is a need to expand these programs beyond what is considered "low-income" for the purposes of federal benefit programs because the cost of living in the Bay Area is so much higher than the national average.