The second annual “Get Old” survey by Pfizer Inc., revealed that the greatest fear among Millennial and Baby Boomer workers (61%) is not being able to find a new job should they lose their current one. Generation Xers and the Greatest Generation were more concerned about not being able to retire when they want to (57%).
A majority (78%) of those surveyed believe that people who work past retirement age stay healthier longer and are happier, but almost 50% felt their city was ill-prepared to offer job opportunities to an aging workforce. While last year’s survey showed that Americans are generally optimistic about people living longer, this year fewer than 30% of respondents across generations said that they believe their community is very prepared to support an aging population.
Other findings of the survey include:
- Nearly nine out of 10 people believe they will live a long life, yet 40% believe being old is something to fear because of potential health and financial concerns;
- Despite rising rates of chronic disease, projected to affect 49% of the U.S. population by 2025, respondents expressed a surprising degree of comfort with their current health, with 88% reporting to be either “at ease,” “optimistic” or “proud” of their physical health;
- While every generation surveyed, from Millennials (ages 18 to 32) to the Greatest Generation (ages 68 and over), expressed worry about getting older, these concerns are heightened beginning around age 40, when Americans begin to prioritize their physical health over wisdom and wealth; and
- Only 17% believe their communities are very prepared to provide home care-giving for the aging, and only 20% believe their communities are very prepared to provide healthcare facilities. Almost half of all survey respondents said that their cities are not prepared to address the transportation needs of older people.
“A lot of how we get old is up to us,” said Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall, chief medical officer, Pfizer. “Taking action today to better your health improves your odds of enjoying a longer, more active and satisfying life. And now is the time to help our communities prepare to meet the needs of older people, for the benefit and enrichment of all.”The 2013 survey was conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Pfizer. It included 1,000 people within the United States, ages 18 and older. The survey was conducted through telephone interviews between March 25 and April 12, 2013.