Last week’s blog was pretty heavy but included a topic we need to be very open about in retirement planning – social isolation.
While I don’t believe there is any ONE answer to the issue of the growing rate of social isolation in aging adults, I do believe that there is hope on the horizon. The AARP completed a study on technology trends for seniors with some optimistic results. The survey showed that older adults are doing more with their smartphones and tablets and are embracing technology solutions at an even greater rate to keep their households running and to stay connected with others. The pandemic has only accelerated the adoption of technology solutions for everyday living, which we can see in the following statistics:
- Ordering groceries via smartphone increased from 6% to 24%.
- There was a significant increase (28% to 40%) in older adults using smartphones to communicate with medical professionals for telehealth visits, ordering prescriptions, receiving personal medical advice, or making appointments.
- Tech spending increased exponentially in this group with adults 50+ adding almost $750 each in 2020 to modernize, update, or create a better experience online.
- It should come as no surprise that the top 3 tech purchases were smartphones, smart TVs and earbuds/Bluetooth headsets.
Increased technology among older adults also comes with increased concerns. While over 50% of those aged 50+ wanted to learn more about using technology, they report they were held back by:
- Cost (38%)
- awareness/lack of knowledge (37%)
- privacy concerns (34%)
While not everything listed above is within our control, we can do some creative retirement planning to address budgeting for technology, whether that is the cost of internet or broadband or the cost of devices like tablets, smartphones, and wearable devices.
Here’s what I want to know:
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being not tech-savvy and 5 being very tech-savvy, where would you rate yourself. Drop me your number in the comments below.