Though the recession officially ended in June 2009, its lingering impact continued to weigh on respondents' outlook for the future. More than half (53 percent) rated their family's financial well-being as fair or poor; 45 percent said it was good.
Many worried about managing financially in retirement — 45 percent were concerned that their retirement income might not keep up with inflation, while 44 percent worried about not having enough money to pay for long-term care.
Similarly, many believed that their standard of living in retirement would be lower than their parents'. One in four (26 percent) expected it to be better or the same, but 44 percent expected it to be worse.
"Many older Americans have been buffeted by skyrocketing health care costs, dwindling home values, shrinking pension and investment portfolios, and employment struggles," said John Rother, AARP's executive vice president for policy, strategy and international affairs.
"Even if you have a job," he said, "this survey demonstrates that you are not immune to the negative effects of the recession."
Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.