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A Look at Holiday Spending: An AARP Bulletin Poll

If the results of this AARP Bulletin poll of midlife and older adults are any indication, we should expect holiday spending in 2009 to be about the same as 2008, with nearly six in ten respondents saying they plan to spend about the same amount as last year. 

While most respondents who plan to give gifts say they plan to pay for them with cash, check, or debit card, much as they did in previous years, we might expect to see a dip in credit card purchases reflective of those holiday purchasers who say they will use a different method of payment in 2009.

Shopping at brick-and-mortar stores or malls will continue to be the preferred venue for holiday gift purchases, noted by roughly seven in ten respondents.  Far fewer shoppers plan to purchase their holiday gifts online, through catalogs, or from street vendors.

This telephone survey of 1,046 adults ages 50 and older was conducted for AARP by ICR of Media, PA from September 23 to October 4, 2009.  For more information about this research, please contact Teresa A. Keenan, Ph.D., at 202-434-6274. (20 pages)