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Survey Finds Older Illinois Voters Anxious About Economic Future

PHOTO: A new survey finds Illinois voters over age 50 and older want candidates to start talking about how to improve their financial security. Photo credit: Ivan Melenchon Serrano/Morguefile.
PHOTO: A new survey finds Illinois voters over age 50 and older want candidates to start talking about how to improve their financial security. Photo credit: Ivan Melenchon Serrano/Morguefile.
August 19, 2014

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Ahead of the upcoming midterm elections, a new report finds Illinois voters aged 50 and over want candidates to start talking about how to improve their financial security.

Heather Heppner, associate state director of AARP Illinois, says their survey finds older Illinoisans still very anxious about their future, despite the gradual improvement in the economy.

"Whether paying too much for taxes or their incomes not keeping up with the cost of living, Illinois seniors are very concerned about the economic outlook right now," says Heppner. "We even found half of our non-retirees are considering postponing or have postponed retirement for financial reasons."

Heppner says voters overwhelmingly want to live independently as they age, and the majority wants their elected officials to make the availability of at-home care a priority. The survey also found the majority of 50-plus voters are concerned about rising costs of utilities and access to affordable landline phone service.

Heppner says Illinoisans over the age of 50 make up a significant percentage of voters who go to the polls every election, and they need clear information on candidates' positions.

"This survey tells the candidates that our population really wants to know where they stand on these major issues," says Heppner. "They don't feel they're able to locate that information easily, and candidates need to do a better job of addressing these concerns."

With less than three months before the election, Republican candidate Bruce Rauner holds a nine-point lead over incumbent Governor Pat Quinn, with 13 percent of Illinois voters still undecided.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IL