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The Commonwealth Fund Survey of Older Adults

Country: United States

Survey Organization: International Communications Research

Field Dates: August 14–November 21, 2004

Sample: Nationally representative sample of adults ages 50 and older

Sample Size: 2,007

Interview Method: Telephone


The Commonwealth Fund Survey of Older Adults, conducted from September to November of 2004, presents new information on the health and financial security of adults ages 50 to 70. On average, older adults have high rates of chronic disease and high out-of-pocket medical spending. Rising out-of-pocket health costs, sluggish wage growth, and erosion of retiree health benefits threatens older adults' ability to save for retirement. The survey finds widespread support among older adults for policies that would help them save for their future health and long-term care costs not covered by Medicare. It also finds broad support for policies that would allow them to buy into Medicare before age 65.

To view the topline results and survey questions, download the attachments posted at the right.

This publication is one in our series on

Special Populations