AARP Hawaii surveyed its members this month and found that the economy was their top concern heading into the elections, followed closely by health care. Retirement security, education and the budget deficit were ranked as lesser but important worries.
By island, the economy was the major issue on Oahu and Maui and tied with health care for the top concern on Kauai and Molokai. Older people on the Big Island placed health care above the economy as their top concern.
Asked to rank other priorities not addressed by the survey questions, older people listed — in order — civil unions, the environment, the homeless, government spending and taxes.
The e-mail survey was sent to about 20,000 AARP Hawaii members on July 13. Just over 1,000 responded back. The survey showed why politicians typically pay close attention to the AARP’s concerns: 98.2 percent of people who responded said they plan to vote.