Senior Home Safety 101

A New Study Shows How Different Generations Perceive Aging

Hands-g2e08d1b29_1280In a novel collaboration, AARP and National Geographic teamed up to create the "Second Half of Life Study," a research study in which more than 2,500 people ages 18 to 90+ were asked questions about aging. According to AARP, the results revealed some surprises in that "most prevalent opinions and stereotypes of aging were proven wrong."

Here is a look at some of the findings:

Younger and older generations are generally optimistic about their future.
More than half of those under 40 (57 percent), and those ages 40 - 49 (51 percent) said they were optimistic about their future. Less than half of those ages 50 - 59 (48 percent) and those ages 60 - 69 (44 percent) said they were optimistic about their future. More than half of those ages 70 - 79 (51 percent) said they were optimistic about their future. Less than half of those ages 80-plus (46 percent) said they were optimistic about their future.

Happiness generally grows with age.
34 percent of respondents age 80-plus said they were very happy, compared with 27 percent of those ages 70 - 79. Only 21 percent of those ages 60 - 69 said they were very happy. For those ages 50 - 59, 40 - 49, and under 40, 20 percent or less said they were very happy.

Brain health, independence, and relationships are the top concerns in the second half of life.
At least half of all age groups selected brain health, independence, and relationships as the top concerns in the second half of life. The most significant variance was that relationships become the most important concern of those ages 70 - 79 and an even larger concern of those 80-plus.

People are surprisingly positive about their health, even if they have at least one serious health condition.
At ages 70 - 79 and 80-plus, 49 percent of respondents said they were in excellent or very good health, even though 83 percent of those ages 70 - 79 and 81 percent of those 80-plus had at least one serious health condition. At ages 60 - 69, 44 percent said they were in excellent or very good health, even though 75 percent said they had at least one serious health condition. Still, 57 percent of those across all age groups who said they were in excellent or very good health also said they were extremely or very concerned about their health.

Retirement expectations and reality shift with age.
Percentages of those actually retired grow from 50 percent (ages 50 - 59) to 59.1 percent (ages 60 - 69) to 63.5 percent (ages 70 - 79) to 65 percent (ages 80-plus). That means almost 35 percent of those over the age of 70 have not yet retired. On the other hand, of those not yet retired, 67.7 percent of those ages 60 - 69, 77.6 percent of those ages 70 - 79, and 91 percent of those ages 80-plus expect to retire.

Living "in my own home" is more popular than living in a retirement community at every age.
The percentages of those preferring to live in their own home rather than a retirement community are: Under 40: 58 percent, ages 40 - 49: 66 percent, ages 50 - 59: 65 percent, ages 60 - 69: 56 percent, ages 70 - 79: 50 percent, 80-plus: 43 percent.

For more, download the PDF of the complete survey results here:
https://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/surveys_statistics/life-leisure/2022/second-half-life-desires-concerns-report.doi.10.26419-2Fres.00538.001.pdf

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