Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Economic Crisis – Seniors Badly Hit

The ongoing recession is forcing many senior Americans to cut down spending on their retirement accounts and other areas such as entertainment and restaurant meals.

The finding were made known through an AARP survey released on Tuesday. The study found that those over 45 years of age faced savings and investment losses, were finding it exceedingly hard to pay for necessities such as pharmaceutical drugs, food, gas in addition to making plans to postpone retirement.

According to the survey:
  • 83% say the government should help people who have lost their jobs keep their health insurance or purchase affordable health insurance.
  • Nearly 7 in 10 said that the government should help people who are facing foreclosure so that they can stay in their homes.
  • Of those adults ages 45+ who lost money in their investments over the past year and are currently working or looking for work, more than half (57%) expect to delay retirement and work longer as a result of their investment losses.
  • One in four (25%) retirees who are not currently working or looking for work say that, within the past 12 months, they have either looked for a job because they needed more income but have been unable to find one (8%) or thought about returning to work because they needed more income (17%).
Following are a few of the key initiatives that AARP is working toward in the 111th Congress:

Reducing Health Care Costs & Improving Quality: Advance health information technology, evidence-based practices, chronic care coordination, and disease management and prevention; and provide greater consumer access to information on health care quality and costs.

Expanding Health Care Coverage: Extend quality, affordable, health care coverage through Medicaid, private insurance reform, new incentives to expand coverage to the 50-64 age group and expansion of children's coverage through the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Training for 21st Century Jobs: Provide training and job search resources so that workers age 50+ who are losing their jobs can re-enter the workforce.

Making Saving Simple: Promote a universal payroll deduction mechanism that allows employees to automatically contribute a portion of their wages to retirement savings accounts, such as through automatic IRAs.
Helping Homeowners: Enact legislation that would allow bankruptcy judges the discretion to modify primary mortgage debt so more Americans facing foreclosure can stay in their homes.

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