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This presentation examines current trends that affect older adults as well as demographics, life events, activities, and attitudes of the 50+.  

Many trends affect the behaviors and attitudes of 50+ adults.  While consumer confidence is slowly increasing, personal savings rates are higher than pre-recession levels.  Unemployment rates are slightly lower for older adults; however, older adults remain unemployed for longer periods of time than their younger counterparts.  Older adults are experiencing higher out of pocket health care costs and as a result many are not going to doctors or health care professionals for treatment as often.  About as many older adults live in multigenerational households as those who live alone.  Although fewer older adults use technology compared to their younger counterparts technology use among older adults is on the rise.  

There are approximately 100 million 50+ adults and this population is projected to increase to 160 million by 2050.  Not only is the 50+ population going to grow in size but it will also become more diverse as both the African American and Hispanic 50+ populations greatly increase by 2050.  

Older adults are most interested in spending their personal and leisure time with friends and family and doing activities that center around their hobbies, travel, entertaining, reading, cooking, and physical and brain fitness.  Older adults are also spending their personal time volunteering in activities that involve helping people with disabilities, distributing food, and fundraising for a good cause.  

Fifty plus adults say issues and activities around health, financial security, and spending time with family friends are the most important in their lives.  Specifically, many want to stay physically and mentally healthy and are engaging in activities to help them achieve these goals.  Many older adults are concerned about having enough money to live comfortably in their retirement and be able to do the things they want to do.  Moreover, older adults are not satisfied with their financial situation and are not confident that Social Security will continue to provide benefits of at least equal value to the benefits received by current retirees.  

Many older adults have become grandparents in recent years.  Fifty plus adults spend time with their grandchildren on a regular basis and many also spend money on grandchildren for things like gifts, entertainment, education, and everyday expenses.

For more information on this presentation, please contact Joanne Binette at (202) 434-6303 or jbinette@aarp.org.

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