262275 Baby boomers confront aging: Findings from a national online survey

Monday, October 29, 2012

Nehanda Lindsey, MS , CommonHealth ACTION, Washington, DC, DC
Myra Schneider, PhD, MSW , CommonHealth ACTION, Washington, DC
The burgeoning number of baby boomers is projected to overwhelm governmental capacity to support their needs as they age and increase their dependence upon individual retirement capacity. Some segments will become increasingly vulnerable to economic disadvantage, particularly women and those in historically disadvantaged groups. This paper will present quantitative and qualitative findings from CommonHealth ACTION's 2011 and 2012 national online aging surveys, designed to collect personal perspectives about aging and retirement preparedness.

Findings from a sample of 1,082 baby boomers (2012 findings will also be included) showed that more women than men perceived they were unprepared to meet their needs as they aged, and were more concerned about healthcare costs and reductions in Social Security/Medicare. Blacks and Hispanics indicated they were less prepared for retirement than Whites: 36% of Blacks compared to 9% of Whites relied entirely on their Social Security checks; 35% of Black women lived alone (compared to 18% of White women); 41% of Black women (compared to 26% of White women) reported they did not have enough saved. More Hispanic women were unemployed than other women (11% vs 2%), lacked health insurance (11% vs 3%), and depended 100% upon Social Security (19% vs 11%).

Implications can inform policy regarding a potential retirement crisis for aging baby boomers and a growing threat of poverty for a substantial number of people as the wealth gap widens. It is imperative to ensure that all boomers age well and that we don't fail a large and growing segment of our population.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify key findings and recommendations from the 2011 and 2012 National Aging Surveys 2. Identify national trends within the baby boom population based upon findings from the two surveys 3. Discuss implications for public policy focusing specifically upon the needs of this aging and diverse population

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have helped to developed the survey and participated in the compilation and analysis of the data collected. In addition, I have worked on past reports and I am working on developing the upcoming reports for this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.