Late 2021 a study was undertaken by National Geographic and the AARP to consider how older Americans are redefining their health, defying challenges and living with purpose by looking in detail at the full spectrum of aging issues — from health and finances to attitudes about happiness, home, optimism and even dying.
More than 2,500 people participated, representing the full range of America’s backgrounds, demographics and ethnicities. Another 25 adults 40 and older participated in in-depth interviews.
Overall, the message was refreshingly positive and reassuring. On the whole, life is good, especially for older Americans — in particular those over 60. The person you see in the mirror is far different from the type of person younger generations might think you are!
The New Aging Is Discussed In 6 Parts
- Part 1: Health Redefined
- Part 2: Money Perceptions
- Part 3: The Pursuit Of Happiness
- Part 4: Relationships
- Part 5: Life Stages
- Part 6: Our Final Years
In this post we’ll look at Money Perceptions
According to AARP, Americans have become good at the psychology of money. Slightly more than half of people 70 and older view their financial situation as excellent or very good. These survey responses seemingly conflict with a mountain of data that shows how limited retirement savings are for average Americans (trust us it’s pretty much the same in the UK even though our social security system is somewhat different)
Many older adults — such as 56-year-old Jackie — are simply mastering the art of living within their means. “I will have to live on a budget,” she says. “I don’t think I’ll ever be destitute or homeless. I have a big family that would always take care of me. I’ve been saving. Yeah, finances concern me because inflation’s going up. But I think I can manage it by being stricter and not being so loose with my wallet.”
Finances remain a BIG issue survey and survey takers 60 and older say they are very or extremelyworred that their money won’t last. And only 16 to 18 percent of those surveyed reported significant improvements in their money situation over the past decade.
Of those aged 40 most don’t understand how important Social Security will be by the time they’re 80 and think they have plenty of time to think about and act on it.
The truth is that Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are so critical to our health and our financial security as we age and it’s imperative that the earlier you think about it the better
As this graph shows the dependency on social security increases considerably the older we get and that means tightening the belt for many and less or none of those things planned for our retirement years
It’s no surprise then that many are looking at living outside their home country and also at starting a side hustle of some kind
In our next article we’ll look at The Pursuit Of Happiness
If you’re in a hurry you can read the full article here
This extract published with full credit to AARP
Thanks for reading The Second Half Of Life – Money Perceptions and would love to have your thoughts on this topic
Thanks for reading – look out for Part 3