Inaugural United States of Aging Survey Finds Most Older Adults Upbeat About Aging, But Some Are Uncertain About Long-Term Outlook for Their Health and Finances
Survey reveals seniors and baby boomers expect their lives to improve as they grow older
A significant minority of respondents feel less secure: about one in four report trouble with current monthly living expenses; one-third say they will not be able to afford future long-term care services; 72 percent of those who make less than $30,000 a year live with a chronic health condition
Perceptions of community services for older Americans vary; boomers are less confident than older respondents that their community will provide the services they need to maintain health and independence
WASHINGTON and MINNETONKA, Minn. (Aug. 8, 2012) – A new survey from the National Council on Aging (NCOA), UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY finds that most older Americans feel their best years are still to come, but not all are prepared for the health and financial challenges of aging.
Close to 70 percent of respondents say the past year of their lives has been normal or better than normal, and more than 75 percent of seniors ages 60-69 expect their quality of life to stay the same or get better over the next five to 10 years.
Seniors’ positive outlook confirms the many improvements that have resulted in greater longevity and quality of life for older Americans, who are enjoying a level of health and security unknown to their parents and grandparents. Many aging experts, however, contend that today’s seniors face challenges unlike those experienced by previous generations, particularly in living with long-term chronic health conditions and the need for longer-term financial security.
The survey also found that advances in senior wellness and security have not been universal, due in part to a lack of awareness of programs and services that can support older adults. Fifteen percent of surveyed seniors say they are not confident their finances will last through their retirement years, and 8 percent have no financial plan for retirement. Among those respondents making less than $30,000 a year, 41 percent say they are unaware of all the benefits and programs that could help meet their needs.
UnitedHealthcare, NCOA and USA TODAY surveyed 2,250 U.S. adults age 60 or older for the inaugural United States of Aging Survey to examine seniors’ outlook and preparedness for aging. The survey focused both on individual readiness for aging as well as seniors’ perceptions of their community’s ability to meet their needs as they age. Of the total sample, 40 percent have low to moderate incomes – making $30,000 or less per year – similar to the U.S. population.
The survey was conducted as part of an ongoing partnership between UnitedHealthcare and NCOA to help older adults as well as their families and caregivers identify and overcome the challenges they might face as they age.
by NCOA, UnitedHealthcare and USA TODAY
For more information please see the following documents that outline the findings of the survey:
1. Press Release
2. United States of Aging Overall Findings
3. United States of Aging Findings – Dallas
4. United States of Aging Findings – Milwaukee
5. United States of Aging Findings – OC
6. United States of Aging Findings – Upstate NY
7. United States of Aging Findings – Miami
8. United States of Aging Findings – Low-Income Seniors
9. United States of Aging Findings – Gender Breakdown