Friday, August 10, 2007

"Growing Older in America" Study

ResourceShelf reported the release of an excellent new study by the National Institute on Aging, called Growing Older in America: the Health and Retirement Study. The preface to this study states:

“There is no question that the aging of America will have a profound impact on individuals, families, and U.S. society. At no time has the need to examine and understand the antecedents and course of retirement been greater than now, as the baby boom begins to turn age 65 in 2011.”
This study shows trends in the health, economic status, retirement, income, and family characteristics of older adults. Here are a few of the interesting findings:
  • "Health varies by socioeconomic status. One study found that the pattern of disease at age 50 for people with less than a high school education is similar to that at age 60 for people with college degrees."
  • "White Americans ages 55 to 64 are less healthy than their British counterparts, despite higher overall incomes and higher levels of health care spending."

  • "Although retirement rates rise steeply at the social security eligibility ages of 62 - 65, many older people do remain in the workforce, either full-time or part-time."
  • "There are enormous economic costs of providing informal caregiving to people with chronic health conditions. Analyses suggest that devoting time to informal care of older parents may be incompatible with having a full-time job in middle age."
  • "There is an association between family status and well-being. Marriage, in particular, is associated with better economic status, fewer self-reported symptoms of depression, and health advantages across a broad spectrum of chronic disease conditions, functional problems, and disabilities."

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