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White House Conference on Aging Seeks Arizonans' Opinions

PHOTO: Older Americans in Arizona could have an impact on future policies and programs for seniors by offering comments and feedback at a Tuesday forum in Phoenix, part of the build-up to the White House Conference on Aging to be held in July. Photo courtesy of White House Conference on Aging.
PHOTO: Older Americans in Arizona could have an impact on future policies and programs for seniors by offering comments and feedback at a Tuesday forum in Phoenix, part of the build-up to the White House Conference on Aging to be held in July. Photo courtesy of White House Conference on Aging.
March 31, 2015

PHOENIX - Retirement security and elder justice are among the topics on the agenda at a regional forum on aging being held Tuesday at the Phoenix Convention Center.

The Arizona event is part of the build-up to the White House Conference on Aging this summer. Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president of AARP, one of the forum's primary sponsors, says having enough money to retire is a growing concern for many older Americans.

"Do they have a retirement plan other than Social Security?" she asks. "Are they saving enough for retirement? This is of course increasingly challenging, given the very good news that people are living longer."

LeaMond says the Great Recession, which wiped out retirement assets for millions of Americans, has changed the psychology of retirement to one of uncertainty. She adds that healthy aging, long-term services and support networks, and the role caregivers play in American life will also be major topics at the event.

Other regional forums are taking place in Boston, Cleveland, Seattle and Tampa, all in advance of the national White House Conference on Aging event in July. LeaMond says input gathered from seniors can help determine important national policies and programs.

"Every conference has had an idea or two that has grown into legislation," she says. "Medicare, Medicaid, all kinds of ideas have kind of germinated at some of these conferences."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 43 million Americans over age 65 in 2012, a number that is projected to nearly double by 2050.

Troy Wilde, Public News Service - AZ