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May 13 2013

Journal of Social Work in End-of-Life Palliative Care: 2012 Best Article

The Influence of Culture on End-of-Life Decision Making” – by Karen Bullock
Scholars have documented racial and ethnic differences in end-of-life care preferences, which have translated into cultural barriers. However, few studies have explained the racial differences. In the present study, focus groups with semi-structured follow-up interviews were utilized to elicit explanations for variance in decision making in a sample of Black and White community-dwelling residents. Participants identified specific cultural beliefs, values, and communication patterns that can be used to promote cultural competency among practitioners who provide care at end of life.

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Apr 10 2012

Latest resources from Urban Institute


  • The Impact of Changes in Couples’ Earnings on Married Women’s Social Security Benefits” – By Barbara Butrica and Karen Smith
  • The share of married women receiving Social Security benefits based on their own work history is projected to increase from 55 percent for war babies (born 1936–1945) to 75 percent for GenXers (born 1966–1975).

  • Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Retirement Prospects of Divorced Women in the Baby Boom and Generation X Cohorts” – By Barbara Butrica and Karen Smith
  • A college degree, a strong work history, Social Security benefits, and a pension, retirement account, or assets contribute to higher retirement incomes regardless of race and ethnicity. Because divorced minority women are less likely to have these attributes than divorced white women, their projected average retirement incomes are lower than those of divorced white women. Among divorced women born 1946–1975, 15 percent of Hispanics are likely to be poor at age 70, compared with 13 percent of blacks and 7 percent of whites.

  • The Retirement Prospects of Divorced Women” – By Barbara Butrica and Karen Smith
  • The proportion of divorced women at age 70 with a 10-year marriage, which qualifies them for Social Security benefits based on their ex-spouse’s earnings, will decline from 80 percent of war babies (born between 1936 and 1945) to 70 percent of GenXers (born between 1966 and 1975). Among war babies, 37 percent will receive only retired-worker benefits because they do not have a qualifying marriage, compared to 51 percent of GenXers.


  • This Is Not Your Parents’ Retirement: Comparing Retirement Income across Generations” – By Barbara Butrica, Karen Smith, and Howard Iams
  • The typical GenX retiree (born between 1966 and 1975) is projected to have an income of $46,000 at age 67. In contrast, the typical Depression baby retiree (born between 1926 and 1935) had income of only $28,000. However, the income of the GenX retiree will replace only 84 percent of preretirement income, compared with 98 percent for Depression baby retirees. Retirement income gains are projected to be larger for higher than for lower socioeconomic groups, leading to increased income inequality among future retirees.


  • Reducing the Deficit by Increasing Individual Income Tax Rates” – By Eric Toder, Jim Nunns, and Joseph Rosenberg
  • This paper analyzes three options to increase individual income tax rates to reduce the projected debt-to-GDP ratio to 60 percent by 2020, 2025, or 2035. Option 1 increases all individual income tax rates, option 2 raises only the top three rates, and option 3 boosts only the top two rates. The options are analyzed using a current law baseline (2001–2003 tax cuts expire) and current policy baseline (2001–2003 tax cuts are extended). Under current policy, options 2 and 3 would not meet all targets, even with rates near 100 percent. Under current law, required top rates would range from 44 percent (option 1) to 58 percent (option 3).


  • The Urban Institute, Child Trends, and Social Solutions launched PerformWell, a web site with performance indicators, measurement techniques and questionnaires, and performance management strategies human service organizations can use to deliver more effective social programs.
[Source: Urban Institute]

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