WASHINGTON Jan 6 Older Americans are spending
less on entertainment and restaurant meals as the recession
forces them to focus on paying for essentials such as food, gas
and medicine, a survey released on Tuesday said.
A survey of Americans aged 45 and older conducted for the
AARP, an influential advocacy group for people over 50, found
many had suffered savings and investment losses and planned to
About 57 percent of people aged 45-54 and about 63 percent
aged 55 to 64 who suffered investment setbacks said they
expected to work longer because of their losses.
The survey of 1,097 people aged 45 and older was conducted
in December by Woelfel Research. About 91 percent of those
surveyed said the U.S. economy was in bad shape, compared to 81
percent the previous April. The recession officially began in
About 68 percent of those surveyed last month had cut
entertainment spending and 64 percent were eating out less.
About 52 percent had difficulty covering basic expenses
like food, gas and medicine last year.
"However, reports of such challenges were less common in
December than in April, which most likely reflects the recent
slowdown in inflation, including declining energy prices,
during the second half of 2008," AARP said.
Thirty six percent of those surveyed stopped putting money
into a 401K or other retirement saving account while 17 percent
prematurely withdrew retirement funds.
(Reporting by Donna Smith, editing by Alan Elsner)