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Hawaii Survey Illustrates Health and Financial Concerns of Older Residents

A new survey shows that health and financial security top the list of concerns among Hawaii residents age 50+. More than nine in ten older residents say staying healthy, staying mentally sharp, and having adequate health insurance coverage are extremely or very important to them. Yet only three in ten say they have everything they need relative to these concerns.

The findings are from the AARP report Voices of 50+ America: Dreams and Challenges, part of an innovative series of state-based and national surveys.

“This survey tells us that too many of our older residents are uncertain they can attain, or maintain, good health and a secure retirement,” said AARP Hawaii State Director Barbara Kim Stanton. “It spotlights some fundamental issues of vital importance to Hawaii seniors and – as we get older – all Hawaii residents.”

AARP commissioned the survey as part of its ongoing communication with members and all Hawaii residents age 50 and older to learn more about their needs, interests and concerns. Adults age 50+ represent roughly 35 percent of Hawaii’s population.

Among the other findings:

  • Nearly half (47 percent) of adults 50+ say that health care – including the cost of health care and staying healthy – is the top problem or challenge facing mid-life and older adults in the state.
  • Over eight in ten adults (84 percent) 50+ say it is extremely or very important to have home and community based long-term care services available in their communities.
  • More than three in ten respondents (34 percent) said economic issues – including having enough money to retire – were their greatest challenge.
  • Over half of working adults 50+ said health care – maintaining coverage or paying premiums and co-pays – would be a major factor in deciding whether to work beyond customary retirement age.
  • Traveling (43 percent) and hobbies (20 percent) were at the top of the list older residents said they personally dream about doing next in their lives.

The telephone survey was fielded in January 2011 and is based on a state sample of 400 adults age 50+ in Hawaii (not just AARP members). The complete survey is available online.

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