BEST Index

The Basic Economic Security Tables™ (BEST) Index, developed by WOW and the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, is a measure of the income that workers and their families need to meet basic needs and develop the savings that promotes life-long and intergenerational security. The BEST Index is specific to family size, ages of children, location and receipt of employment-based benefits. It includes the cost of:

  • Housing & Utilities
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Child Care
  • Personal & Household Items
  • Health Care
  • Emergency Savings
  • Retirement Savings
  • Taxes & Tax Credits
  • Savings for Children’s Higher Education
  • Homeownership Savings

BEST INITIATIVE

The BEST Index is the foundation of national, state and community-based efforts to promote policies and programs that build economic security for workers and their families. Through the BEST Initiative™, WOW supports the work of state and local partners who promote economy security by: providing job training; promoting jobs that pay economic security wages; promoting employment-based benefits and equitable workplaces; creating asset building programs and policies; supporting affordable housing and child care; and strengthening public assistance programs. For more information on the BEST Initiative and BEST Index uses, see the More Information page.



Elder Index

The Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (Elder Index), developed by WOW and the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, is a measure of the income that older adults need to meet their basic needs and age in place with dignity. The Elder Index is specific to household size, location, housing status and health status. It includes the cost of:


  • Housing
  • Health Care
  • Transportation
  • Food
  • Miscellaneous Essentials



ELDER INITIATIVE

The Elder Index is the cornerstone of national, state and community-based efforts to promote policies and programs that build economic security for elders and their families. The national Elder Economic Security Initiative™ offers a conceptual framework and concrete tools to advance the well-being of elders through research, organizing, education, advocacy and outreach. Through the Initiative, WOW supports state and local partners who promote economic security by: strengthening social insurance programs for all; increasing opportunities for workers and families to save for retirement; and enhancing community-based services and supports for elders and caregivers. For more information on the Elder Initiative and Elder Index uses, see the More Information page.

More Information

Additional information on the Economic Security Database and the projects supported by this data.