Half of African Americans age 50+ in New York will delay retirement if economy doesn't improve, says poll
NEW YORK, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new AARP survey of New Yorkers age 50 and older, which takes a special look at how African Americans view their financial security and retirement, finds that 49 percent would delay retirement if the economy does not improve. Of those who planned to delay retirement, 41 percent said they would delay retirement for five or more years and 13 percent expect never to retire.
The findings were released today at a roundtable discussion in Manhattan, convened by AARP and the National Urban League, to examine the status and prospects of 50+ African American workers as a result of the great recession. More than 60 human resource executives, private and public sector employers, academics, and local legislators joined in the discussion led by Lois Wagh Aronstein, AARP New York State director, and Marc Morial, National Urban League president and CEO, to look at job growth, re-training, and model programs that help keep older African American workers relevant in the workplace.
"This survey paints a picture of older African American workers who are coming to terms with a tough economy," said Aronstein. "While older African Americans would like to enjoy retirement, for an alarmingly large number, this is a dream delayed or slipping out of reach."
The survey results come from a huge AARP survey effort where the Association conducted separate surveys in each of the 50 states and the three territories where AARP has offices, plus a national survey to better gather information on the needs, interests and concerns of Americans 50+. The survey also found large gaps between what African Americans 50+ believe they need to remain healthy, secure and active and what they expect to have.
Among the survey's findings:
- Almost everyone (98 percent) thought that staying healthy and having adequate health coverage was extremely important, yet less than one-third thought they had what they needed in regards to these two subjects.
- Overall worry about financial issues runs high – with 66 percent worried about how they would maintain their finances and lifestyle in retirement, 59 percent worried about managing debt, 65 percent concerned about saving for the future, and 50 percent worried about having access to work retirement savings plans.
- Asked if they had difficulty paying their monthly electric bill in the past twelve months, 48 percent said they did.
- Many concerns about health care are tied directly into financial worries. Eighty percent worry about having to pay more for health care and 72 percent worry about becoming financially devastated due to health costs.
- Overall, older African Americans' confidence that their children's generation will be better is not high. Only 37 percent feel confident that their children's generation will be better than it has been for them.
"It is clear that the great recession has taken its toll on everyone and many African Americans will find themselves having to work longer to keep up with rising health care costs and financial insecurity," said Aronstein. "The end result is that their job is essential to the quality of their life. With many older African-Americans facing financial challenges and having to work longer, workforce development will be critical to helping these mature workers update their skills so that they can stay relevant in the workforce."
The survey is one of several tools that AARP leaders will use on both the state and national level to guide the association's advocacy and informational work to help Americans stay healthy and live with financial independence. For more information about the survey, including a copy of the survey report, or to schedule an interview on this issue, contact the AARP New York staff listed at the top of this release or go to www.aarp.org/ny .
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
SOURCE AARP New York State