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AARP Survey: 8 in 10 Adults Have Cut Spending, Adjusted Lifestyle Due to Inflation

En español | Most U.S. adults (78 percent) say they’ve cut back on shopping, postponed travel or otherwise reined in their expenses in the wake of decades-high inflation, according to a new AARP study that suggests high prices are forcing consumers to rethink their spending.

More than 4,800 adults ages 30-plus were surveyed online or by phone over the summer, from July 12 through Aug. 1. One-third of respondents (33 percent) said their financial situation is worse today than it was 12 months ago, and most cited higher expenses (65 percent) and a decline in their investment value (36 percent) as primary reasons. Prices have continued climbing in the months since the poll. The Consumer Price Index, which tracks prices for an assortment of goods and services, ticked up slightly from August to September and is up 8.2 percent over the year. Prior to this year, the index hadn’t climbed north of 8 percent since the early 1980s.

The survey found that nearly half of U.S. adults (45 percent) worried about having enough money to cover basic expenses like food, housing and transportation.

“Debt, coupled with inflation, continues to burden many adults ages 30-plus, hampering their ability to save for the future,” according to the report. “With this financial unease, it is not surprising that many adults expect to work in retirement, primarily for financial reasons.”

More than half of respondents who are not currently retired (52 percent) said they expect they’ll need to work in retirement or will never be able to afford to stop working. And while more than 60 percent of respondents said they feel secure about their financial situation, those with lower incomes, as well as Black and Hispanic households, report more pessimistic circumstances. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of adults earning less than $40,000 per year report being financially insecure, compared with just 19 percent of those earning more than $75,000.

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