Older Americans upbeat about aging, future: survey

Tue Aug 7, 2012 10:05pm EDT
 
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Baby boomers are upbeat about aging and expect the next phase of their lives to be better than the last, but many are concerned about their financial future and long-term health costs, a survey released in Tuesday showed.

Americans are living healthier and longer that ever before. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts boomers will turn 65 at a rate of 10,000 per day for the next decade, making them, along with centenarians, the fastest-growing segment of the population.

More than 75 percent of seniors questioned in the poll on aging are optimistic, think the best is yet to come, and expect to have the same quality of life, or better, during their next decade.

"The reason they are upbeat is because we have changed our definition of aging. People are working longer. They see people that are older being healthier," said Donna Shalala, the president of the University of Miami and a former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services during the Clinton administration.

Shalala, 71, who will discuss the results of the poll during a panel on successful aging in Miami on Wednesday, said people are buoyed by seeing their relatives living longer.

"My mother is 100 years old. Why shouldn't I be optimistic?" she added.

MANAGING STRESS, WORKING LONGER, AGING IN PLACE

The majority of 2,250 seniors, aged 60 or older, questioned in the telephone survey from the National Council on Aging, medical insurer UnitedHealthcare and the newspaper USA Today said they are confident they will be able to maintain their health and think they manage stress effectively.   Continued...