Seniors don’t use financial or health counseling, but they do use it

Among Seniors, a Declining Interest in Boosters

In a new survey from the Pew Research Center, only half of older adults say they use health or financial counseling.

That’s a significant drop from a 2007 survey, when 77% of older adults said they used counseling.

“To many people, health advice and financial advice are not about the same thing — and it’s not just seniors who are changing their outlook,” said Robert Blendon, director of the Center for Generational Studies, which conducted the poll. “But the idea that everyone should be able to seek health advice — that’s something that’s really hard to grasp for many people, especially if you’re already pretty comfortable with your own health decisions.”

Fifty-one percent of older adults say they don’t seek any type of advice if they feel they can do it on their own.

That’s down from the 78% that said that in 2007,

Fifty-seven percent of people 55 and over say they use financial or health counseling, compared with a 2005 survey that found 82% of consumers ages 65 and over said they use counseling.

Only a small majority of Americans aged 55 and over say they receive counseling on finances from friends or family. In fact, almost half of them said they received financial counseling from strangers in the past year, such as a neighbor, friend or relative.

Nearly eight in 10 Americans, including a majority of seniors, say they do not receive counseling.

“People don’t take the time to really think about what’s important to them: If I can do it, why shouldn’t I?” said Pamela Bailey, director of public affairs for the American Association of Retired People, which conducted the 2007 survey for its National Older Americans Month program.

In other findings, Americans aged 55 and over say that retirement is important to them, though they’re not sure when it will start. Fifty-seven percent say retirement will start in the next five to 10

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