As the leading edge of the giant Baby Boomer generation turns 65 on January 1, 2011, a Pew Research roundup of new and recent surveys finds that this age group is more downbeat than others about the trajectory of their lives and the direction of the nation as a whole. This report explores Boomers’ political and social values; their economic hopes and fears and their overall satisfaction with life.
Growing Old in America
Getting old isn't nearly as bad as people think it will be. Nor is it quite as good. A survey finds a sizable gap between the actual experiences of older Americans and the expectations of younger and middle-aged adults.
One child in 10 in the United States lives with a grandparent, a share that increased slowly and steadily over the past decade before rising sharply from 2007 to 2008, the first year of the Great Recession.
The multi-generational American family household is staging a comeback — driven in part by the job losses and home foreclosures of recent years, but more so by demographic changes that have been gathering steam for decades.
The American work force is graying — and not just because the American population itself is graying. Older adults are staying in the labor force longer, and younger adults are staying out of it longer.
While most Americans approve of laws that say treatment can be stopped if that’s what a terminally ill patient desires, they are split on what they would do personally in that situation.
If a latter-day Ponce de Leon were to search for a modern fountain of youth, he’d do well to explore America’s West. There he’d find the highest concentration of older adults in the United States who don’t think of themselves as old.
There is a sizable gap between the expectations that young and middle-aged adults have about old age and the actual experiences reported by older adults themselves.
In the midst of a recession that has taken a heavy toll on many nest eggs, just over half of all working adults ages 50 to 64 say they may delay their retirement — and another 16% say they never expect to stop working.
Older adults are less likely than younger and middle-aged adults to say that in the past year they have cut back on spending; suffered losses in their retirement accounts; or experienced trouble paying for housing or medical care.
As the oldest of the nation’s 75 million baby boomers approach the age of 60, many are looking ahead to their own retirement while balancing a full plate of family responsibilities.