SINGAPORE (May 23): Singapore faces the twin challenges of population ageing and income insecurity among some older people. One obstacle to better understanding these issues is that—until now—analysts have not been able to state how much people need for a basic standard of living.

A study we recently completed addresses this question, in relation to older people, using a research method known as Minimum Income Standards (MIS). We found that wages or public schemes alone may not be adequate. As family size shrinks, it will not be sustainable to depend on children as the main source of income. We need to rethink how older people can achieve income security.

Finding out how much people need

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