In this annual “report card” on the quality of life of the nation's age 50+ population, older Americans are somewhat better off now than they were a decade ago, but there is still much room for improvement.
- While the most uniformly positive change occurred among economic and employment indicators, some of the improvement is modest and incomes, though higher than 10 years ago, are still below levels reached in 1998.
- Health indicators were more negative than positive with both lifestyle/social well-being and independent living/long-term care measures somewhat mixed.
In its fourth examination of changes in 25 economic, health, social and lifestyle indicators over the most recent year, as well as multi-year periods, AARP found 16 positive/upward trends and 9 negative/downward over the past decade.
Upward trends include:
- Median family income/assets (2005 dollars)
- Percent above 200 percent of poverty
- Percent of population age 62+ receiving more than half of income from sources other than Social Security
- Employment rate
- Percent reporting health as “excellent” or “very good”
Downward indicators include:
- Percent confident in their retirement future
- Percent able to afford medical care when needed
- Percent of population 50 to 64 with health insurance from any source for any length of time during the year
- Percent who are not overweight and not obese
- Percent who rarely or never miss something away from their residence due to lack of transportation
AARP's 2007 report card concludes with individual commentaries by economists Robert L. Clark of North Carolina State University; Teresa Ghilarducci, director of the University of Notre Dame's Higgins Labor Research Center; Alicia H. Munnell, Drucker Professor of Management Sciences at Boston College, and Mark J. Warshawsky, director of retirement research for Watson Wyatt Worldwide. (60 pages)
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