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Election-Year Poll Reveals Seniors' Health, Economic Security Concerns

A new survey from AARP Pennsylvania reveals voters age 50 and older have a number of economic concerns ahead of this year's midterm elections. Photo courtesy of Charles Rondeau.
A new survey from AARP Pennsylvania reveals voters age 50 and older have a number of economic concerns ahead of this year's midterm elections. Photo courtesy of Charles Rondeau.
August 19, 2014

PHILADELPHIA - A new election-year poll of likely voters in Pennsylvania aged 50 and older reveals many are concerned about having enough money down the road, and want candidates to focus on improving their economic security.

The survey, conducted by AARP Pennsylvania, shows six in 10 worry about high taxes, and a majority point to costs rising faster than their incomes. Ray Landis, advocacy manager with AARP Pennsylvania, says those factors are making it difficult for people to make plans for the future.

"Over half of the respondents are indicating they either have delayed retirement, or feel they will need to delay retirement in order to feel financially secure when they do take that step to retire," he says.

Landis notes the financial concerns are multi-layered, and most respondents said affordable energy is an area they would take into consideration at the polls.

"Utility costs are something everyone has to pay for," says Landis. "But if costs are rising faster than the pace of people's incomes, it places a strain on the overall household budget."

The poll also exposed that those running for office need to do a better job informing potential 50-plus voters of where they stand on key issues.

"One thing that jumped out was the number of people who feel they don't have that information about the candidates yet," says Landis. "They're looking for the candidates to talk about these factors, instead of ads we're seeing on our televisions and other media right now."

Health-related expenses also weigh heavily on the minds of respondents, including having enough money to meet their own medical expenses and those that would be incurred if a spouse required daily living assistance. When the poll was conducted in June, Democrat Tom Wolf held a 23 point lead over incumbent Republican Governor Tom Corbett.

Just 38 percent of respondents said they approve of the job being done by President Obama.

Tom Joseph, Public News Service - PA