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Looking at Act II of Women's Lives: Thriving & Striving from 45 On

The AARP Foundation's Women's Leadership Circle Study

To guide its Women's Leadership Circle in developing programs, information and services for midlife and older women, the AARP Foundation commissioned Roper Public Affairs, part of GfK, to conduct a research study exploring the attitudes and experiences of American women age 45 and older.

Many of those interviewed for this study say growing older is not only better than expected, but can be a positive time of life with new rewards. They report being happier now, experiencing freedom to be themselves, pursue dreams and do things they have always wanted to do.

Although 92 percent have a network of friends and family that they can rely on, particularly in a time of crisis, many worry about what might happen to them as they age If they were alone, 39 percent say they would find the idea of sharing a home with women friends appealing.

Some exhibited possibly false assurance about their future financial and health situations even when they had not taken steps to adequately prepare themselves. While 61 percent feel confident that they will have enough money to enjoy life in their later years, 62 percent (55 percent of whom are age 60+) do not have a long-term spending plan for when they retire.

While 81 percent consider their health to be “good” and 56 percent call it “very good” or “excellent”...

  • 28 percent say having to care for other people leaves them with too little time for taking care of their own health
  • 32 percent feel the cost of healthcare or prescription drugs sometimes prevents them from seeing a doctor or getting treatment when they need it

Between August 17th and November 14th, 2005, 1,200 age 45+ women were surveyed by telephone, with additional over-samples of 500 African Americans, 500 Hispanics, and 500 Asian/Pacific Islanders. (94 pages).

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