Changing Aging Blog

New Survey: Older Americans Viewing Retirement Positively
Date: Aug 2nd, 2010 12:13pm

Author:

Eric Schubert

Vi, a senior housing company based in Chicago, recently commissioned a poll by Penn Schoen Berland of  nearly 800 U.S. adults between the ages of 65 and 80.  The Vi Next Chapter study probed attitudes of people 65 and older about aging concerns, expectations and aspirations:

Not Their Father's Retirement

81% of those surveyed have a different vision of retirement from that of their parents. Almost nine out of ten (86%) say they want their retirement to be more exciting and more active than their parents' retirement, while almost all (98%) say retirement "can and should be a fun experience." A scant 6% look to their parents' retirement as a guide for their own future. The majority (96%) say retirement doesn't mean they are ready to stop being productive, and 79% feel productive currently.

Independence Means Freedom

The concept of "independence" in the later years is also undergoing a transformation. Older adults today equate independence with freedom to do what they like (72%) and from the responsibilities of work (42%) and raising a family (26%), from worries about money and bills (43%).

A Little "Me" Time

Nearly half (46%) say they're done taking care of chores - it's time to take care of "myself." Two in five (40%) report they like to frequently treat themselves to new purchases such as shoes or clothes. More than one third (37%) of older Americans surveyed say they go out socially two or more nights each week. Half (50%) say having a healthy and active sex life is important to them.

Great Expectations

Two in five (39%) say that as they've gotten older, they've become more "adventurous." A similar number (38%) say they've never had as much fun as they're having now. Older adults polled say they are most excited about and fully expect to travel (57%) and spend time with family (57%).

Health Trumps Money

Health trumps money by a ratio of 4 to 1 when it comes to things older Americans are worried about. Eight out of 10 older adults (80%) say that "losing my health" concerns them more while only 17% are worried about "not having enough money to get by."

Fitter Not Fatter

Sixty percent of older Americans polled say they are exercising more than 2-3 hours a week with 21% saying they exercise more than 5 hours each week. More than four out of five say they prepare meals from scratch rather than eating frozen, pre-prepared or takeout meals and 97% say the food they eat is very or somewhat healthy.

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