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Economic Well-Being in Idaho: A Year End Survey of Residents 65+

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Throughout 2009, as retirement savings dwindled, housing prices fell, and health care costs soared, older Idahoans often received the brunt of the recession.  This population, increasingly reliant on Social Security, some spending upwards of 20 percent of their household income on utilities and another 30 percent on health care costs, were struggling during their “golden years.”  How are these tough economic times impacting older Idahoans?  How has it changed their daily lives?  What dilemmas, challenges, and choices is it forcing older Idahoans to make? 

The AARP Idaho State Office commissioned this survey to explore the impact of the recession and the experiences of Idahoans age 65 and older.  The survey provides an in-depth look at several key indicators for economic well-being:  the health of respondents’ personal finances, the value to retirement savings and investments, increase in household costs, and changes to income.  Respondents report their cost of living has increased.  The common monthly expenses that have increased most are the cost of groceries, utilities, and health care, and the majority of respondents expect their cost of living to increase in the next year. 

The results are based on 406 responses to a telephone survey among self-identified recipients of Social Security age 65 or older residing in Idaho.  The survey was conducted November 28 to December 5, 2009.  Data are weighted by age and gender in Idaho.  For further information, contact Susan Silberman at 202-434-6339. (13 pages)

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