Albertans’ concerns and expectations about aging

October 15, 2015

When it comes to getting older, health and money are the biggest concerns for Albertans, and they are relatively pessimistic about their prospects for the future according to recent ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc. poll.

On a top-of mind basis, staying healthy and health issues are Albertans’ primary concerns (28% mention), followed closely by issues related to financial security (27%), accessing adequate health care (17%), requiring assisted living (8%) and a loss of independence (7%).

These top-of mind answers are confirmed through prompted levels of anxiety about having enough money to sustain themselves throughout their retirement, and specifically having the financial wherewithal to afford new health care expenses such as long-term care and uninsured services.

These anxieties are paired with significant pessimism about their future regarding finances and access to health care. While two-thirds (66%) of those interviewed believe that they will be in good enough health to enjoy retirement, only 44% say that they will be financially prepared for it. An even smaller percentage (36%) believe that they will be able to afford to pay for extra health care services not covered by health insurance or Medicare in the future. Roughly four-in-ten (39%) Albertans believe that they will receive excellent health care in their retirement (vs. 43% who believe the contrary).

On a positive note, results were far more optimistic among those who are currently retired than their younger cohorts. For instance, 62% of those who are currently retired believe they receive excellent health care, and 75% say their health is good enough that they are enjoying their retired years. Although higher than the general population, only 52% of those currently retired say that they are financially prepared to live comfortably for their entire retirement.

To view the details of these results and methodology, follow the link: Albertans’ Concerns & Expectations About Aging

Survey Methodology

These are findings of a ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc. poll conducted on behalf of the Alberta Medical Association. The Study was fielded via random a sample of online research panels (Voice of Alberta & Angus Reid Forum) between March 19th and 26th, 2015. Participants are Alberta residents over the age of 18, and the sample has been stratified and weighted to reflect the actual population of Alberta, based upon Stats Canada census data. A total of 2010 interviews were conducted for the survey. The online methodology utilizes a representative but non-random sample therefore margin of error is not applicable. However, a probability sample of this size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.

These findings are drawn from research conducted on behalf of the Alberta Medical Association for its albertapatients initiative – an online community that provides Albertans the opportunity to provide input and feedback into the province’s health care system, and help shape the future of health care in Alberta through regular professionally executed survey research. This initiative also acts as a conduit for Alberta’s doctors to report on findings from the survey research.

ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc. is a Canadian-based independent public opinion consultancy, and is the Alberta Medical Association’s research partner in the operation of


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