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AARP Survey: Most Americans Age 50+ Don’t Have What They Need to Address Their Most Important Issues


March 10, 2011


Media Relations


AARP Survey: Most Americans Age 50+ Don’t Have What They Need to Address Their Most Important Issues

AARP engages members to help achieve their goals.

WASHINGTON—More than half of all Americans age 50 and over don’t think they have what they need to address the most important issues they face today, according to “Voices of 50+ America: Dreams and Challenges,” a national report from AARP that is part of an innovative series of state-based and national surveys.  

“It’s not surprising that almost every American 50+ says staying healthy and spending time with their loved ones is important,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President.  “But it is alarming that most of them don’t think they have what they need to meet those goals.  We all have a role to play in bridging that gap.”

Key findings from the survey of 50+ Americans, which also examined issues like aging at home, financial security and state budget concerns, include:

* 96% say staying healthy is important, but only 33% of these people think they have what they need to do so;

* 88% say that spending time with their family and friends is important, but only 36% of these people think they have what they need to stay connected to their loved ones; and

* 81% say that protecting themselves against fraud is important to them, but only 24% of these people think they have what they need to stay safe as consumers.

The survey series is the latest in AARP’s ongoing efforts to match the changing needs of its members and all older Americans with resources that can help them – today and in their own communities – manage new opportunities and challenges.

“No matter where we’re from or where we live now, our lives change and the world changes around us,” said LeaMond. “Whether you are planning for retirement, caring for an aging parent or meeting a new grandchild, we want to help you navigate these new life changes.”

Because communities are as different as the people who live in them, AARP engages and empowers people in local area activities ranging from anti-fraud shredding events to townhall meetings with elected officials.  Easy-to-use tools and information are also available on-line to help individuals and families with their own unique needs. These resources include:

Strengthen your financial security and protect yourself against fraud

* Find out if your plans are still on track to retire when – and how – you want (

* Get help filing and maximizing your tax returns at the nearest AARP Foundation Tax-Aide site, which last year helped over 2.6 million taxpayers in nearly 6,500 locations across the country (

* Know what to look for to spot the latest investment scams, and what you can do to help protect others (

Stay healthier 

* Pick up quick tips on how to choose the right doctor or hospital, and how to make the health care you receive is actually based on your individual needs (

* Get the facts on the preventive screenings and vaccinations you may need (

* Find out how the price and effectiveness of your prescription drugs compare to alternatives, and get tips on talking with your doctor or pharmacist (  

Get better connected with your loved ones

* Travel to – and with – your family and friends safely and on a budget (

* Learn from experts on how to stay connected with loved ones over long distances or major life changes, and maybe make some new friends, too (

* Get updated caregiving tools and tips to help you support loved ones – and yourself – during times of need (

“Too many Americans think they’re on their own to face the difficult challenges that stand between them and their dreams,” said LeaMond.  “Whether you take advantage of AARP’s resources or find useful information somewhere else, the important thing is to realize that you’re not alone, that help is out there, and you can be that help for someone you love.”

The full survey is available at  For more information, please visit

About AARP

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with nearly 35 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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