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Social Isolation and Health Are Biggest Concerns for Americans 50 and Older During Pandemic

Survey developed by Barclays explores concerns of older Americans throughout the pandemic and in a post-COVID-19 world

Americans aged 50 and older are split down the middle on their major concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. A total of 50% say isolation from friends and family is their biggest challenge, while the other 50% cite health risks as their biggest challenge, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults 50 and older by Wakefield Research for Barclays US Consumer Bank.

More than half (55%) of Americans aged 50-plus are concerned they have not budgeted enough money for monthly medical expenses, including nearly a third (31%) who are very or extremely concerned.

Barclays commissioned the survey as part of the launch of its new suite of co-branded credit cards designed with AARP members in mind. The survey covers a wide range of topics including how Americans 50-plus plan to spend their time post-pandemic, how the pandemic has influenced their spending on medical services, and their retirement outlook.

"Understanding the audience of each of our co-brands is vitally important to our success," said Nichelle Evans, managing director, travel and affinity programs, Barclays. "Our new suite of co-branded credit cards for AARP members offers valuable cash back in areas that are important to these consumers, including health-related expenses along with valuable travel reward benefits."

The AARP® Essential Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays is designed to provide cash back on medical and drugstore expenses, and the AARP® Travel Rewards Mastercard® from Barclays rewards those who are eager to begin traveling again once the pandemic subsides.  

For those who travel, the survey indicates there is increased appetite to indulge in more luxury experiences once it is safe to do so. In the past 10 years, only 23% have flown first class, and 19% have dined at a restaurant with a Michelin star. However, in the next 10 years, 36% of survey participants plan to fly first class and 30% plan to dine at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Nearly half (45%) of respondents said that they will dine out more when the pandemic is over. Men (71%) are more likely than women (54%) to anticipate having luxury experiences over the next 10 years.

Additional survey findings include:

  • Nearly half (48%) have put off a non-emergency visit to a doctor or specialist due to COVID-19, indicating a pent-up demand for medical services once the risk of the pandemic passes.
  • Those concerned about not budgeting enough for medical expenses are more likely to have put off appointments than those who are not concerned (58% vs. 36%).
  • 65% of respondents plan to spend more time with their family when the pandemic comes to its conclusion.

To address issues of social isolation, the new AARP Credit Cards from Barclays support AARP Foundation's work to increase social connection across the United States. Essential Connections Powered by Barclays will donate up to $1 million annually to support AARP Foundation's efforts to equip older adults with the tools they need to stay physically and mentally healthy and connected to their communities.

For more information, visit  

About Barclays
Barclays US Consumer Bank is a leading co-branded credit card issuer and financial services partner in the United States that creates highly customized programs to drive customer loyalty and engagement for some of the country's most successful travel, entertainment, retail and affinity institutions. The bank offers co-branded credit cards, small business credit cards, installment loans, POS Finance, online savings accounts, and CDs. For more information, please visit

Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group. For further information about Barclays, please visit

About Mastercard
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

About AARP Services Inc.
AARP Services Inc., founded in 1999, is a wholly owned taxable subsidiary of AARP. AARP Services manages the provider relationships for and performs quality control oversight of the wide range of products and services that carry the AARP name and are made available by independent providers as benefits to AARP's millions of members. The provider offers currently span health products, financial products, travel and leisure products, and life event services. Specific products include Medicare supplemental insurance; credit cards; auto, home, mobile home and motorcycle insurance; life insurance and annuities; member discounts on rental cars, cruises, vacation packages and lodging; special offers on technology and gifts; and pharmacy services. AARP Services also engages in new product development activities for AARP and provides certain consulting services to outside companies.

About AARP Foundation
AARP Foundation works to end senior poverty by helping vulnerable people over 50 build economic opportunity. Our approach emphasizes equitable outcomes for populations that have faced systemic discrimination. As AARP's charitable affiliate, we serve AARP members and nonmembers alike. Through vigorous legal advocacy and evidence-based solutions, and by building supportive community connections, we foster resilience, advance equity and restore hope. To learn more, visit or follow @AARPFoundation on social media.

About AARP
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation's largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit, or follow @AARP, @AARPenEspanol and @AARPadvocates, @AliadosAdelante on social media.