Column: Special price index benefits elderly, other defined groups

Each year consumers cooperate with the U.S. Bureaus of Labor Statistics and the Census to report how we spend our money. According to the 2011 Survey of Consumer Expenditures, our 122 million households spent $6.1 trillion or nearly $50,000 per household.

How much we spend and what we buy depends on many factors. Not the least of these factors is age. As we pass through time, our family circumstances change, leading to different income levels, and our personal needs alter our spending patterns.

A household headed by a person 45 to 54 old spends about $58,000 per year while the household headed by a person 25 to 34 spends in the neighborhood of $48,000. Those in households of persons 65 and older spend $39,000 per year.

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