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Recession Takes Toll on Hispanics 45+: Boomers Particularly Hard Hit

The current economic recession has forced many Hispanics age 45+ to cope by making increasingly difficult decisions that may impact their long-term health and financial security, according to this January 2010 survey by AARP, in collaboration with the National Hispana Leadership Institute and impreMedia.  In particular, many Hispanic boomers (ages 45-64) provide significant support for the health and basic needs of their children and parents – serving as members of the so-called “sandwich generation” – and find themselves stretched thin as they struggle to maintain their own finances and prepare for retirement.

Results show that over the last 12 months:

  • 60% of Hispanics 45+ got less sleep because of stress or worry
  • 43% had problems paying for essential items, such as food and utilities
  • More than a third (35%) cut back on their medications
  • Twice as many Hispanics 45+ lost a job than the general population (21% versus 10%)
  • Among those who did not lose their job, almost one-third (32%) had their hours or pay cut
  • One in five (20%) lost their employer-sponsored health insurance

At the same time, Hispanic baby boomers (age 45-64) are more likely than older Hispanics (age 65+) to be responsible for caring for a parent (24% versus 4%), a spouse (45% versus 33%), a minor child (37% versus 12%), or an adult child (31% versus 7%). Almost half of Hispanic boomers (46%) have helped a child pay bills or expenses, with nearly three in ten (28%) helping a parent pay for their expenses.

AARP commissioned this telephone survey of a nationally representative general sample of 1,002 adults ages 45 and older and a targeted sample of 400 Hispanics ages 45 and older. Woelfel Research, Inc. conducted interviews during January 15-27, 2010. Media inquiries about the report should be directed to 202-434-2560. For further information about the study, contact the author, Rebecca Perron, at 202-434-6324. (53 pages)

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