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2014 Multicultural Population Quick Facts

July 22, 2014 Comments off

2014 Multicultural Population Quick Facts
Source: AARP Research

This set of fact sheets provides a one-page snapshot of 50+ African American and Hispanic populations in select metropolitan markets.

Each fact sheet includes information on the population size, education, employment, income, grandparents living with grandchildren, food insecurity and buying power. Hispanic/Latino fact sheets also include data on citizenship status and English language use.

Data points are based on the most recent available from cited sources and represent the 50+ population unless otherwise indicated.

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Impact of Finances 50+ Training Classes on Individuals’ Financial Behaviors

July 15, 2014 Comments off

Impact of Finances 50+ Training Classes on Individuals’ Financial Behaviors
Source: AARP Research

AARP Foundation, in collaboration with Charles Schwab Foundation, designed and disseminated a financial capability curriculum targeted to the 50+ age group to approximately 11 organizations nationwide. Classes were offered beginning in September 2012 through December 2013. Approximately 2,775 people participated in these classes.

The purpose of the report is to evaluate the impact of the financial training by:

  • Comparing behaviors relating to key financial topics before and after participating in the class
  • Determining whether desired financial behaviors increased after participating in the class

A pre-test post-test evaluation methodology was designed by AARP in which financial behaviors, including behaviors around spending, saving, budgeting, investing, handling debt, etc., were measured prior to training and at two follow-up time points (3- and 6-month post training). Analysis of respondents’ financial behaviors pre- and post-training reveals notable findings on the impact of the training classes:

1. Participants’ levels of anxiety about their financial situations decreased significantly from before to after the training, with the proportion “very worried” dropping by 36% (from 22% to 14%) from pre-training to six months post-training, while those “not very/not at all worried” increased 24% (from 34% to 42%) during the same time period.

2. Participant scores on the Financial Management Behavior Scale (FMBS) measured at three points in time show that there was a statistically significant improvement in average scale scores pre- and post-training.

3. Looking at other discrete indicators of change in financial behaviors, most significant post-training (6-month) change was found in the following “positive” behaviors:

  • calculating net worth
  • reducing financial fees
  • reducing spending and/or increasing earnings
  • prioritizing debt payment
  • reviewing credit card statement

Likewise, frequency of some “negative” behaviors declined significantly 6 months post, including:

  • being overdrawn
  • being contacted by a collector
  • taking out a payday loan

4. Developing a clear financial goal was a major accomplishment for those who took the training, with a 50% improvement rate in participants setting a goal. Among those with a defined goal, the proportion with an Action Plan increased 40% by the end of the study period.

AARP — African American/Black Social Issues Study

July 8, 2014 Comments off

African American/Black Social Issues Study
Source: AARP

This study examined the importance of key social issues facing African-Americans/ Blacks who are age 50 or older. It also gauged their optimism in regard to these social issues.

Key findings from the study show:

  • Access to high quality health care and having a financially secure retirement are the most important issues facing age 50+ African-Americans/Blacks age 50 and older.
  • The respondents are more optimistic that the country is moving in the right direction in regard to access to high quality health care.
  • There is less optimism that the country is moving in the right direction in regard to having a financially secure retirement.
  • Respondents age 75 and older are more optimistic than those ages 50-64 that the country is moving in the right direction about having a financially secure retirement.

Boomers & Vacation Plans: An AARP Bulletin Survey

July 1, 2014 Comments off

Boomers & Vacation Plans: An AARP Bulletin Survey
Source: AARP

Key Findings:

  • About six-in-ten (57%) American Boomers say they are planning to take an overnight vacation within the next 12 months.
  • Among those Boomers who have planned to take an overnight vacation in the next 12 months, about seven-in-ten (68%) report they are planning to take more than one overnight vacation, while three-in-ten (29%) report they are planning to make only one overnight vacation.
  • About half (47%) of Boomers who have an overnight vacation planned in the next 12 months, say they are planning for one to two weeks away on vacation, while one-third (34%) say they are planning for more than two weeks away on vacation.
  • Half (49%) of Boomers who have an overnight vacation planned in the next 12 months say they are planning to spend $1,000 to less than $5,000 for their overnight vacations. However, one-third (34%) say they are planning to spend less than $1,000 while eight-in-ten (13%) say they are planning to spend $5,000 or more for their overnight vacations.
  • The high majority (56%) of Boomers who have an overnight vacation planned in the next 12 months say their spouse or partner will be going with them, and one-in-seven (15%) say their child/children will be going with them, while one-in-six (17%) Boomers say they are planning on going self/alone for their vacation.
  • Two-thirds (64%) of Boomers say they will be going to another state within the U.S. and one-in-five (20%) report they will be vacationing within their own state. But, one-in-five (19%) Boomers report going out of the country for their vacation in the next 12 months.
  • The highest proportion of Boomers, who are planning for an out of country vacation, are planning on going to Europe (38%), followed by Latin or South America (21%), Caribbean (13%), and Canada (10%).

While asking about the motive for their overnight vacation within the next 12 months, most of Boomers say the main reason is either “To see, connect, or spend time with family and/or friends” (45%), or “For a pure fun, or relaxation” (38%).

Raising Expectations 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers

June 23, 2014 Comments off

Raising Expectations 2014: A State Scorecard on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Adults, People with Physical Disabilities, and Family Caregivers
Source: AARP and Commonwealth Fund

This report by AARP’s Public Policy Institute, The Commonwealth Fund and The SCAN Foundation shows some states significantly out-perform others in the delivery of long-term services and supports (LTSS) to older adults and people with disabilities.

While states are making measureable progress in improving long term services and supports (LTSS) – which includes home care services, family caregiver supports, and residential services such as nursing homes – widespread disparities still exist across the country, with even top performing states requiring improvement. Further, the pace of change remains slow, threatening states’ ability to meet the needs of the aging population.

The LTSS Scorecard evaluates performance in five key dimensions: (1) affordability and access, (2) choice of setting and provider, (3) quality of life and quality of care, (4) support for family caregivers, and (5) effective transitions. New indicators this year include length of stay in nursing homes and use of anti-psychotic drugs by nursing homes, raising serious concerns about the quality of institutionalized care.

Reconnecting Small-Town America by Bus: New Federal Transit Rules Spur Investment

May 26, 2014 Comments off

Reconnecting Small-Town America by Bus: New Federal Transit Rules Spur Investment
Source: AARP Research

Millions of rural residents have lost access to scheduled intercity bus service in recent years as the nation’s largest private carriers have focused on profitable, longer-haul interstate travel. This video and Spotlight on the Issues illustrates how one state has created a successful public–private initiative to restore service to its rural communities. What Washington State has accomplished serves as a model for other states looking to take advantage of alternative local match requirements.

Use of Internet, Social Networking Sites, and Mobile Technology for Volunteerism: Implications for Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement

May 20, 2014 Comments off

Use of Internet, Social Networking Sites, and Mobile Technology for Volunteerism: Implications for Volunteer Recruitment and Engagement
Source: AARP Research

When thinking about ways to incorporate social media and mobile technology into volunteer recruitment and engagement strategies, focus on actively engaging volunteers who are already in the social media and mobile space. These volunteers are more likely to engage actively on social media in a volunteer role than those who are less comfortable or familiar with the technology. According to survey findings, the frequency of use of social networking sites was a key predictor of the willingness of adults, age 40 and older, to perform nearly all of the volunteer-related activities examined.

Engage volunteers and non-volunteers through easy and enjoyable small actions to get them thinking about the issues important to the organization’s mission and, accordingly, build the foundation for potential deeper engagement. Survey findings show the most popular activities that 40+ Internet users were willing to perform were fairly light forms of engagement, including going online to learn about volunteer opportunities (32% were willing); joining an online group or community that shares their commitment to a cause or issue that they care about (31%); and sharing information about a cause or issue they care about on a social networking site (30%).

As smart phone and tablet prevalence continues to grow, and as mobile devices represent the primary way many younger adults, Hispanics and African Americans access the Internet, it is important that volunteer organizations explore incorporating mobile technology into their volunteer recruitment and engagement strategy, particularly when searching for potential ways to increase the diversity of their volunteer base. Survey findings show about a fifth of 40+ Internet users were willing to download a mobile app to locate volunteer opportunities in their area (21%) and sign-up for text alerts about available volunteer opportunities (19%).

As volunteers leave their current traditional positions, use this time to re-evaluate positions for potential virtual volunteering opportunities (i.e., volunteer positions that are carried out over the Internet) that are attractive to both traditional volunteers and contemporary volunteers looking for episodic or short-term opportunities. Nearly a quarter of Internet users (24%) were willing to volunteer virtually, according to survey findings.
Volunteers have increasingly become more mission-minded. As such volunteers should be encouraged to speak about the benefits of their volunteer work—and its impact on the communities they serve–via their personal social media profiles. Volunteers can be important advocates for volunteer programs as they can give a volunteer’s perspective of what it is like to serve as a volunteer for the program.

Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to Their Spouses: A report of the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund

May 2, 2014 Comments off

Family Caregivers Providing Complex Chronic Care to Their Spouses: A report of the AARP Public Policy Institute and the United Hospital Fund
Source: AARP and United Hospital Fund

This report shows that spouses who are caregivers not only perform many of the tasks that health care professionals do—a range of medical/nursing tasks including medication management, wound care, using meters and monitors, and more—but they are significantly more likely to do so than other family caregivers, who are mostly adult children.

According to the report, nearly two-thirds of spouses who are family caregivers performed such tasks (65 percent), compared to 42 percent of nonspousal caregivers. And despite these responsibilities, spouses were less likely than nonspousal caregivers to receive in-home support from health care professionals: 84 percent of spousal care recipients received no professional health care on site, compared to 65 percent of nonspousal care recipients. They were also less likely to receive help from family or friends or home care aides: 58 percent of the spouses reported no additional help from others, compared to 20 percent of nonspouses.

The report notes that it is unclear why spouses receive less help, hypothesizing that it could be choice, lack of awareness about resources, financial limitations, or fear of losing independence. The report calls for additional research to help tailor interventions that support but do not supplant the primary bond between spouses.

What is Livable? Community Preferences of Older Adults

April 28, 2014 Comments off

What is Livable? Community Preferences of Older Adults
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

This report explores the meaning of livability and describes lessons learned by PPI as part of its work to measure community livability and quantify the degree to which a community has the elements that are necessary to meet individual needs regardless of age, income, physical ability, ethnicity, and other factors. This work also includes findings from an individual community preference survey of older adults.

Lessons learned:

1. Individual definitions of “livability” can include issue areas that may or may not be addressed by public policy.
2. People and communities have differing perspectives: one type of community does not fit all.
3. Perceptions of a livable community are made when choosing housing, and they may not change as the person ages, unless a major life change forces a new perspective.

Boomers and Physical Fitness: An AARP Bulletin Survey

April 15, 2014 Comments off

Boomers and Physical Fitness: An AARP Bulletin Survey
Source: AARP

Aimed at exploring the U.S. Boomers’ perceptions and behavior around physical health and fitness, this survey was conducted via telephone by AARP Research, on behalf of the AARP Bulletin, in January 2014, among a national representative sample of 760 Boomers (ages 49-67 years).

Key findings include:

  • Over four-in-ten (43%) Boomers rate their physical health excellent or very good while three-in-ten (29%) rate it fair or poor.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of Boomers say physical fitness exercise is a priority for them today.
  • “It keeps me mobile, not dependent on others (48%), “I enjoy it/it’s fun” (30%), “I have always had this as a priority” (26%), “Doctor recommended it as a must” (26%), and “It makes me feel younger” (25%) are the top-five reasons why physical fitness exercise is a priority for them today.
  • While asking the reasons to those who say physical fitness exercise is not a priority for them today, the highest proportion reported “I don’t have time” (30%), followed by “I am disabled/physically impaired” (22%), “I have chronic illness/I am sick” (21%), and “I have other more important priorities” (20%).
  • About one-in-six (16%) Boomers are currently a member of a health, fitness, or exercise club. Use of personal fitness mobile apps is infrequent among Boomers – only 7% reported using them over the past five years.

AARP Online Travel Study

April 15, 2014 Comments off

AARP Online Travel Study
Source: AARP Research

Those who are 50 or older take about six non-business related overnight trips of at least 50 miles from home per year.

Boomers and Finances: An AARP Bulletin Survey

April 7, 2014 Comments off

Boomers and Finances: An AARP Bulletin Survey
Source: AARP Research

With an interest in learning more about what American Boomers perceive about their financial performance and situation, on behalf of the AARP Bulletin, in November 2013, AARP Research conducted a short telephone survey among a nationally representative sample of 714 individuals age 49-67 years old.

Key findings include:

  • Two-thirds (67%) of Boomers say they are doing at least somewhat well financially, with one-in-five (21%) doing extremely or very well and about half (46%) doing somewhat well.
  • Regarding how well Boomers thought they would be doing financially at their age, the majority (56%) say they are doing either better than expected (20%) or about the same as expected (36%).
  • About four-in-ten (39%) Boomers perceive they are doing better than their parents were doing financially, and over a quarter (26%) perceive they are doing the same as their parents were doing at the same age.
  • Over four-in-ten (43%) Boomers expect their children will be doing better financially and about one-fifth (18%) of them expect their children will be doing about the same as they are doing today when their children reach the age they are today.

Fiduciary Duty and Investment Advice: Attitudes of Plan Sponsors

April 4, 2014 Comments off

Fiduciary Duty and Investment Advice: Attitudes of Plan Sponsors
Source: AARP Research

This AARP survey of employers that sponsor retirement savings plans (“plan sponsors”) examines a range of issues related to investment advice available to plan participants from the financial institutions that provide their plan (the “DC provider”). It reveals widespread support for holding advice to a “fiduciary” standard; that is, requiring advice offered by DC providers to individual plan participants to be in the best interest of the participants.

2013-2014 Winter Heating Costs for Older and Low-Income Households

April 2, 2014 Comments off

2013-2014 Winter Heating Costs for Older and Low-Income Households
Source: AARP Research

Record breaking cold weather this heating season will leave many older American households facing higher heating costs than last year. While heating costs continue to be higher for households heating with fuel oil than those heating with natural gas or electricity, costs to heat with natural gas, electricity, and propane have risen for many households across the United States.

This report analyzes data from the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Surveys and the February 2014 Short-Term Energy Outlook. It examines heating-related energy consumption and expenditures among consumers age 65 and older based on income, heating fuel used, and geographic location. Winter heating costs are likely to be a greater burden on older low-income households than on similarly aged higher-income households, even though low-income households tend to use less heating fuel than other groups. This report will be updated monthly through March 2014 as new data are released.

2014 Social Security Quick Fact Sheets

March 14, 2014 Comments off

2014 Social Security Quick Fact Sheets
Source: AARP Research

This set of fact sheets and easy-to-read corresponding infographics provides a one-page overview of quick facts on Social Security benefits and beneficiaries for each of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

Information is provided about each state’s older population, Social Security beneficiaries, Social Security benefits, Social Security’s role in lifting retirees out of poverty, Social Security’s impact on the state economy, and the Percent of Social Security as the only source of income among older residents.

Caught In The Scammer’s Net: Risk Factors That May Lead to Becoming an Internet Fraud Victim, AARP Survey of American Adults Age 18 and Older

March 12, 2014 Comments off

Caught In The Scammer’s Net: Risk Factors That May Lead to Becoming an Internet Fraud Victim, AARP Survey of American Adults Age 18 and Older
Source: AARP Research

The present study surveyed some 11,271 individuals age 18 and older nationally and in 12 state oversamples. The survey sought to answer the following questions:

1. Are there behaviors and life experiences that may increase a person’s risk of becoming a victim of online fraud?
2. What proportion of individuals nationally, and in particular target states may be at risk of being victimized by online fraud?
3. How concerned are Americans about online fraud and what if any steps are they taking to protect themselves?

Data from this national and multi-state survey of over 11,000 online users also shows that Americans are very concerned about online fraud, yet many avoid taking basic precautions to protect themselves.

2013-2014 Winter Heating Costs for Older and Low-Income Households

March 3, 2014 Comments off

2013-2014 Winter Heating Costs for Older and Low-Income Households
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Record breaking cold weather this heating season will leave many older American households facing higher heating costs than last year.  While heating costs continue to be higher for households heating with fuel oil than those heating with natural gas or electricity, costs to heat with natural gas, electricity, and propane have risen for many households across the United States.

This report analyzes data from the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Surveys and the February 2014 Short-Term Energy Outlook. It examines heating-related energy consumption and expenditures among consumers age 65 and older based on income, heating fuel used, and geographic location. Winter heating costs are likely to be a greater burden on older low-income households than on similarly aged higher-income households, even though low-income households tend to use less heating fuel than other groups. This report will be updated monthly through March 2014 as new data are released.

Higher-Income Individuals Pay More for Medicare

February 24, 2014 Comments off

Higher-Income Individuals Pay More for Medicare
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

The Medicare program requires higher-income individuals to contribute more toward the cost of the program than the general population. Read the fact sheet to learn the proportion of people with Medicare who are paying higher Part B and Part D premiums, how much this proportion is projected to grow over the next five years, and how much more these higher-income individuals are paying. Also, learn about the Medicare tax rate for higher-income workers.

AARP Attitudes of Aging Study

February 21, 2014 Comments off

AARP Attitudes of Aging Study
Source: AARP

A two-part study commissioned by AARP the Magazine. Part one was comprised of a Research Day with two three hour sessions consisting of six simultaneous focus groups. The Research Day’s intent was to help direct the quantitative portion of the research by better understanding:

  • How adults age 45+ feel about aging
  • What defines age. Is it the way one looks or the way one feels
  • The impact of the prejudices of aging (ageism)
  • The influence of society’s opinions on their perception of aging
  • The impact of life events on their perception of aging
  • How social connectedness and technology impact their perceptions of aging

Part two was an online survey of 1800 respondents consisting of attitudinal questions to answer the question, ‘What aging attitudes drive the overall satisfaction with life’? Attitudinal questions centered around the following items that were uncovered in part one of the research:

  • Psychological growth and loss
  • Health and physical changes
  • Discrimination and prejudices
  • Physical appearance
  • Traditional and online social networks
  • Technology

Improving Mobile Device Privacy Disclosures

February 20, 2014 Comments off

Improving Mobile Device Privacy Disclosures (PDF)
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

There is increasing concern about the amount of personal information that mobile device users may be revealing without their knowledge. Studies show that older consumers are one of the fastest-growing groups of mobile device users, and they express high levels of concern about the privacy of their information. For that reason, legislators, regulators, and consumer advocates are seeking to increase the transparency of mobile data collection and sharing.

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