BURLINGTON -A majority of Vermont adults over age 50 say they are worried about affording health care, staying healthy and being able to afford retirement, according to a recent survey by AARP.
Some 400 Vermonters over age 50 were surveyed on a number of issues ranging from their concerns and worries to their desires and hopes for the future.
•Health and financial security are very important in the lives of age 50 plus adults living in Vermont. More than nine in ten say staying healthy, staying mentally sharp, and having adequate health insurance are important to them.
• Half of Vermonters age 50 plus say that health care issues are the top problem or challenge facing mid-life and older adults in their state. Over a third cite economic issues as the largest challenge.
• Seventy-eight percent worry about having to pay more for health care.
Over two-thirds worry about financial devastation or being unable to pay for a major illness.
• Most Vermonters age 50 plus indicate maintaining health coverage and paying health insurance premiums are major factors in their plan to work beyond the customary retirement age.
• About 80 percent of Vermont adults age 50 plus worry about one or more financial issues. Public assistance benefits and maintaining finances and lifestyle in retirement are worries for just over six in ten.
• Some 89 percent cite receiving Social Security benefits when needed is important.
• Paying for long-term care worries 67 percent of Vermonters over age 50.
• Saving money on everyday expense like groceries, gasoline, and dining out is important to 95 percent of respondents.
• Sixty-two percent worry about one or more community issues. Close to three in ten worry about having easily accessible sidewalks and good street lighting needed to safely get around their communities. Nearly 40 percent are worried about the availability of alternative housing options for older adults.
• Staying in their own homes as they age is important to about 96 percent of adults age 50 plus in Vermont.
• Looking ahead, Vermonters age 50 plus say vacation and travel, hobbies, and new or better job opportunities are what they most dream about doing next in their lives.
• Adults age 50 plus do not have everything they need in order to accomplish their most important goals: Only about a third have all they need to stay sharp, stay healthy, and have adequate health insurance coverage.
Only about one-quarter have all they need to receive Social Security, to receive Medicare, or to protect themselves from financial fraud.
Vermonters age 50 plus are having to defer their dreams and come to terms with a the rising costs of health care, a tough economy and dwindling resources.