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California Voters 40 and Older Are Struggling to Make Ends Meet and Financially Unprepared for Growing Older

August 1, 2011

External Publication

Authors: Lake Research Partners, American Viewpoint

On behalf of The SCAN Foundation and UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Lake Research Partners and American Viewpoint conducted a statewide survey among 1,490 registered voters in California ages 40 and older. The poll, in its second year, sought to better understand health and long-term care issues facing middle-aged voters given the state's current economic crisis and the rising number of Californians older than 60, projected to nearly double to 12 million people in the next 25 years.

The poll found that Californians, regardless of political party or income level, were worried about the costs of growing older. Two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents said that they are apprehensive about being able to afford long-term care. Sixty-three percent of Californians worry as much about paying for long-term care as they do for their future health care.

Voters' ability to save for long-term care expenses are hampered by California's weak economy. Nearly half (48 percent) of voters 40 and older said their household income has declined in the past 12 months, and 50 percent said they had to take money out of savings to meet their expenses. Four in ten (41 percent) have had to cut down on the amount they spend on food in the past year.

The findings also show that, regardless of their political party affiliation or income level, voters have continued aging-related concerns over the loss of independence (73 percent), losing memory or other mental abilities (70 percent), and worsening health (70 percent).

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