Older people fret less about aging in place: AP-NORC Poll ::

— The older you’re, the much less you fret about growing old in place.

That’s a key perception from a brand new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs ballot, which discovered that U.S. adults ages 65 and older really feel significantly better ready to age in their very own houses than these 50-64, who’re principally nonetheless within the remaining stretches of their working years.

The ballot additionally documented higher insecurity round growing old in place for older Black and Latino Americans, the possible results of a deep-rooted wealth hole that markedly favors whites.

Aging in a single’s own residence, or with household or an in depth buddy, is a extensively held aspiration, with 88% of adults 50 and older saying it is their aim in an earlier AP-NORC ballot.

The outlook amongst these 65 and older is upbeat, with practically 8 in 10 saying they’re extraordinarily or very ready to remain of their present dwelling so long as potential.

But doubts creep in for these ages 50-64. Among that group, the bulk who price themselves as extraordinarily or very ready shrinks to about 6 in 10, in response to the ballot.

This comparatively youthful group is very more likely to say their monetary scenario is the principle motive they do not really feel very ready to age in place. And they’re additionally extra more likely to really feel anxious about having the ability to keep of their communities, get care from medical suppliers and obtain backup from members of the family or shut associates, the ballot discovered.

Part of it might be as a result of worry of the unknown amongst individuals who’ve relied on a paycheck all their lives.

“When you’ve never done it before, and you are only going to do it once, you’re sort of flying by the seat of your pants,” mentioned Leigh Gerstenberger, in his late 60s and retired from a profession in monetary providers. “I spent quite a lot of time speaking to folks forward of me within the journey,” says the Pittsburgh-area resident.

Also, folks approaching their 60s could query if Social Security and Medicare will actually be there for them. Stacy Wiggins, an habit medication nurse who lives close to Detroit, figures she’ll in all probability work at the least one other 10 years into her late 60s — and perhaps part-time after that. Older associates are already accumulating Social Security.

“In my group, you wonder if it’s going to be available,” Wiggins said of government programs that support older people. “Maybe it’s not. You will find people who are less apt to have a traditional pension. Those are things that leave you with a lot of trepidation toward the future.”

Some folks now of their 50s and early 60s should still be coping with the overhang of the 2007-09 recession, when unemployment peaked at 10% and foreclosures soared, mentioned Sarah Szanton, dean of the Johns Hopkins University nursing college. For an growing old society, the U.S. does comparatively little to organize older adults to navigate the transition to retirement, she noticed.

“As Americans, we’ve always idolized youth and we’re notoriously underprepared for thinking about aging,” Szanton mentioned. “It often comes as a surprise to people.” Her involvement with aging-in-place points began early in her profession, when she made home calls to older folks.

In the ballot, folks 50 and older reported that their communities do an uneven job of assembly fundamental wants. While entry to well being care, wholesome meals and high-speed web have been typically rated extremely, solely 36% mentioned their neighborhood does a very good job offering reasonably priced housing. Just 44% have been happy with entry to transportation and to providers that help older folks of their houses.

Kym Harrelson-Pattishall is hoping that as extra folks retire to her coastal North Carolina neighborhood, well being care services and different providers will comply with. As it stands now, a serious medical problem can contain a automobile journey of as much as an hour to the hospital.

An actual property agent in her early 50s, Pattishall shares the aim of growing old at dwelling, however her confidence stage is just not very excessive. “I think it would just eat away what savings I have,” she mentioned.

It’s all about adjusting, says one other small-town resident, about 20 years older than Pattishall. Shirley Hayden lives in Texas, close to the Louisiana border and on the monitor of hurricanes from the Gulf of Mexico. She says she has no investments and solely modest financial savings, however she charges herself as very ready to proceed growing old in place.

“You have to learn to live within your means,” Hayden mentioned. “I do not cost issues I am unable to afford to pay for.

“My biggest thing I have to work around as far as expenses is insurance,” she added. “I don’t really need any new clothes. In Texas, you live in jeans and T-shirts and they don’t go out of style. Yeah, your shoes wear out, but how often do you buy a pair of shoes?”

Not really easy to work round is the well-documented racial wealth hole that constrains older Black folks specifically. A Federal Reserve report notes that on common Black and Latino households personal 15% to twenty% as a lot internet wealth as white households.

In the ballot, 67% of Black Americans and 59% of Latino Americans ages 50 and older mentioned they felt extraordinarily or very ready to remain of their houses so long as potential, in contrast with the 73% share of white Americans saying they really feel assured.

Wiggins, the Detroit space nurse, is Black and says it is a sample she’s acquainted with. “Part of it is generational wealth,” she mentioned. “I have friends who are white, whose dad died and left them settled. I have friends who are Black whose parents died, and they left enough to bury them, but nothing substantial.”


AP Director of Public Opinion Research Emily Swanson and Polling Reporter Hannah Fingerhut contributed to this report.


The AP-NORC ballot of 1,762 adults age 50 and older was carried out between February 24 – March 1 with funding from The SCAN Foundation. It used a pattern drawn from NORC’s probability-based Foresight 50+ Panel of adults age 50 and older, which is designed to characterize the U.S. inhabitants. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.4 share factors.

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