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Older blacks polled on issues

6/13/2014, 5:55 p.m.

Health care, education, financial security and the digital divide are among the most important social issues for African-Americans ages 50 and older, a new AARP survey finds.

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E. Kane Williams

The national African-American Social Issues Survey, released June 6, examined the importance of key social issues facing older African-Americans and gauged their optimism in regard to the social issues.

More than 650 people responded to the telephone survey. The survey demonstrates that while many older African-Americans are optimistic that the country is moving in the right direction on health care, education and the digital divide, they are significantly less optimistic about finances, employment and work force discrimination.

AARP says the lower levels of optimism on finances and employment could directly impact their future retirement security.

Edna Kane-Williams, the nonprofit’s vice president for Multicultural Markets and Engagement, said AARP is working to provide all people with enough information to make the right choices for themselves and their families.

“We realize that decisions like knowing when to claim retirement benefits, making health care choices, seeking employment and financial planning can be complex and different for everyone,” she said.

Among respondents, access to quality health care and financial security ranked high at 91 percent and health care information ranked 89 percent.

Visit www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-2014/african-american-black-social-issues-study.html for survey results.