Older Americans’ Tech Spending Has Doubled Since Pandemic

En español | Older Americans spend more on technology than they did before the COVID-19 pandemic — and they’d buy even more if the devices were easier to use and better tailored to their needs, according to a new AARP survey.

More than 7 in 10 consumers age 50-plus made at least one tech purchase in 2022, and they spent $912 on average. That’s up from just $394 four years ago, according to AARP’s “2023 Tech and the 50-plus” report.

Respondents 50-plus owned six tech devices on average in 2022. The most common ones were smartphones (86 percent), followed by smart TVs (70 percent), tablets (59 percent) and home assistants (31 percent). Fewer than a third said they owned wearables such as smartwatches or smart home devices such as video doorbells (28 and 24 percent, respectively).

Although the survey found people 50 and older are interested in new technology to help them monitor their health and live independently, they worry the devices will be difficult to use. More than two-thirds (68 percent) said they don’t believe today’s tech is designed with their age in mind. 

When asked what stops them from making new purchases, most said concerns about complexity, along with uncertainty about how a device would benefit them. “Older consumers need more information about what tech is available, where to get it and how to use it,” the report said.

Helping older adults use technology to live better is a priority at AARP. We partnered with the nonprofit OATS (Older Adults Technology Services) on Senior Planet, which offers free online classes for people 60 and older. And last weekend, we put a spotlight on AgeTech at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Read about a new ride-share service geared toward older adults and how making your home smart could soon become easier.

Read the full tech trends report, and keep up on the latest technology by visiting our Personal Technology Resource Center

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