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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.
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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.

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

November 25, 2013 Comments off

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

Heating costs continue to be higher for households heating with fuel oil than those heating with natural gas or electricity, but for the first time in years natural gas prices are rising as well.

This report analyzes data from the 2009 Residential Energy Consumption Surveys and the October 2013 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.

Retirement Attitudes Segmentation Survey

October 18, 2013 Comments off

Retirement Attitudes Segmentation Survey
Source: AARP

This AARP survey of 2,480 adults ages 50-65 examines attitudes toward retirement as well as recent actions taken to prepare for the future and identifies opportunities for assisting pre-retirees as they approach the next step in their lives.

Because attitudes toward retirement and preparations for the future vary considerably across the population, the report compares and contrasts views of four different “segments” of respondents. The four segments include Pro-Active Self-Actualizers, Day-to-Day Life Embracers, Cautious Clockwatchers, and Doubters.

Choosing Home for Someone Else: Guardian Decisions on Long-Term Services and Supports

October 14, 2013 Comments off

Choosing Home for Someone Else: Guardian Decisions on Long-Term Services and Supports
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Guardians are responsible for society’s most vulnerable at-risk adults. One of their most important decisions is where the incapacitated person will live: in a personal residence, the community or a nursing facility. Their choices are limited by the options available particularly as budget cutbacks have impacted home and community based services. At the same time, guardians’ consent may be necessary to make long-term services and supports function as they should.

This report presents findings from an in-depth study of how professional guardians make this decision which goes to the core of the individual’s quality of life.

Social Security’s Impact on the National Economy

October 7, 2013 Comments off

Social Security’s Impact on the National Economy
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Social Security is a critical federal program that promotes income stability among households in the United States. It does so by providing a steady stream of income to replace lost wages due to retirement, disability, or death. The role that Social Security benefits play in the economic security of the 57 million people who received it in 2012 is well known, but its importance to the broader economy has received little attention.

As this research report shows, Social Security benefits play a key role in the economy, supporting over 9 million jobs across the country and more than a trillion dollars of economic output. Social Security has a much greater impact on the economy than just the amount of its benefit payments because when Social Security beneficiaries spend their monthly benefit checks, the effects ripple through the economy. These benefits in turn help every State where benefits are spent.

This research report quantifies the impact Social Security benefits have on the U.S. economy and the economies of every state.

Fiduciary Duty and Investment Advice: Attitudes of 401(k) and 403(b) Participants

September 30, 2013 Comments off

Fiduciary Duty and Investment Advice: Attitudes of 401(k) and 403(b) Participants
Source: AARP

This AARP survey of 401(k) and 403(b) participants examines a range of issues related to investment advice available to plan participants from the financial institutions that manage their plan (the “plan provider”) with a particular focus on reactions to the fact that such advice is typically not held to a “fiduciary” standard, meaning that the advice offered by plan providers to individual plan participants is generally not required to be in the best interest of the plan participants.

Because 401(k) and 403(b) participants may choose to roll over their balances into IRAs when leaving an employer or upon retiring, the survey also examines concerns about the fact that IRA management is not held to a fiduciary standard.

The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap: A Look at Future Declines in the Availability of Family Caregivers

August 26, 2013 Comments off

The Aging of the Baby Boom and the Growing Care Gap: A Look at Future Declines in the Availability of Family Caregivers
Source: AARP

Understanding the effects of the relative size of the Baby Boom compared to preceding and succeeding age groups is essential to anticipating the demand for long-term services and supports (LTSS) and the potential availability of family care in the future.

This paper uses a “caregiver support ratio” to document the declining availability of family caregivers to provide LTSS between 1990 and 2050. It defines a “caregiver support ratio” as the number of potential caregivers age 45-64 for each person age 80 and older. It documents the dramatic widening of the care gap nationally and in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as Baby Boomers age into their 80’s, beginning in 2026. The report also highlights sociodemographic trends that may influence the future supply of family support for the frail older population.

Consumer Choices and Continuity of Care in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Emerging Practices and Lessons

August 21, 2013 Comments off

Consumer Choices and Continuity of Care in Managed Long-Term Services and Supports: Emerging Practices and Lessons
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Increasing numbers of states are transitioning their Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) systems from fee-for-service models to managed care models, raising concerns among stakeholders that services will be disrupted and consumer choices diminished.

Recent managed care transitions in Kansas, New York and Wisconsin were studied. The authors found that little changed for consumers during the transition period, and services were not disrupted. The findings are limited to the transition period studied. Longer range impact on consumers of managed LTSS is unknown and should be monitored closely.

Whitepaper: SNAP Access Barriers Faced By Low Income 50-59 Year Olds

August 15, 2013 Comments off

Whitepaper: SNAP Access Barriers Faced By Low Income 50-59 Year Olds
Source: AARP

AARP Foundation works to support programs that serve the needs of our nation’s struggling 50+ population. Part of our work includes understanding the barriers that make it difficult for our targeted population to obtain necessary support.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the best options available to increase food-purchasing power for low-income older adults. We also know from prior research that people in the 50-59 age range face choices and pressures unlike those of any other age group. In the midst of a slow economic recovery, this group is rapidly becoming the new face of financial vulnerability in America. “SNAP Access Barriers Facing Low-Income 50- to 59-Year-Olds” focuses on a segment of the population served by AARP Foundation that often is overlooked but that has been affected severely by the most recent economic downturn. It is our hope that this study will motivate anti-hunger advocates to develop new tools to overcome barriers to SNAP enrollment, thus helping to increase SNAP enrollment rates among those aged 50-59 as well as among the 60+.

At the Crossroads: Providing Long-Term Services and Supports at a Time of High Demand and Fiscal Constraint

July 31, 2013 Comments off

At the Crossroads: Providing Long-Term Services and Supports at a Time of High Demand and Fiscal Constraint
Source: AARP Public Policy Institute

Tight fiscal budgets and increasing demand for publicly funded long-term services and supports (LTSS) are putting pressure on states to transform their systems of care for older people and adults with disabilities. Many states are beginning to implement Affordable Care Act LTSS options that increase access to Medicaid home and community-based services, but non-Medicaid aging and disability funding has either decreased or remained flat in most states.

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