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Survey reveals attitudes on aging of adults in Virginia

Many communities across the country are gearing up for an influx of older adults. The first wave of baby boomers began turning 65 this year, with about 10,000 people reaching the age each day. In an effort to get a better grasp on their thoughts, the Older Dominion Partnership (ODP), a non-profit organization in Virginia, recently released the results of a survey of the commonwealth's residents.

The statewide survey polled 5,000 Virginians between the ages of 50 and 105 and founds some encouraging results. In particular, researchers discovered that many of the respondents feel they have a high quality of life and about 54 percent of boomers (between the ages of 50 and 64) said that were ready to meet the challenges of aging.

Still, while the study may have revealed that the individuals themselves are ready, it also showed that they think the community as a whole may not be. Specifically, just 23 percent of boomer respondents said that they believe the community is prepared. The study, the first of its kind in 30 years, shows just how different retirement is now than in years past.

"The results of this survey suggest that Boomers will bring different perspectives and expectations to their senior years and will likely redefine what it means to grow older in Virginia," said R. David Ross, executive director of the ODP. "We plan to conduct this survey every three years to follow the transition of boomers into their senior years and help work to ensure Virginia remains the best place to live, work, and play at any age."

Though the findings are indicative of the attitude of people living in Virginia, they seem to echo the feeling of the rest of the country. In particular, a recent Associated Press-LifeGoesStrong survey found that respondents have concerns about retirement, with about 53 percent of respondents saying they are not confident they'll have enough money to retire comfortably.

Although its residents may have concerns, Virginia has proven to be one of the better places for older adults to join active retirement communities. In particular, Del Webb Celebrate offers homeowners a bevvy of ways to stay active, including clubs and classes that range from book and golf groups to walking and hiking clubs.  

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