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Economic Well-Being in Hawai’i: Attitudes on Social Security & Personal Finances of Residents Age 65+

The AARP Hawai’i State Office commissioned this survey to explore the impact of the recession and the experiences of residents 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 of 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 cost of living to increase in the next year.  

Key findings include:

  • Ninety-four percent of Hawai’i residents say their Social Security checks are important to their monthly budget.
  • More than six in ten Hawai’i residents say their cost of living has increased over the past 12 months.
  • More than a third of survey respondents age 65+ report that the value of their retirement savings and investments has decreased in the past year.
  • At least four in ten survey respondents say their costs for common monthly expenses have increased over the past year.  Specifically, costs for groceries, utilities, gasoline, and health care costs, including prescription drugs, co-pays, and insurance premiums have increased the most.
  • Sixty-three percent of Hawai’i residents say they expect their cost of living to increase over the next 12 months.

The results are based on 402 responses to a telephone survey conducted November 28 to December 5, 2009 among self-identified recipients of Social Security age 65 or older residing in Hawai’i.  For more information, please contact the author, Susan Silberman, at (202) 434-6339. (15 pages)