NU Online News Service, Nov. 11, 2003, 1:48 p.m. EST – Some older consumers like the offers they get as a result of banks and other financial institutions sharing information with affiliates, according to results of a survey sponsored by AARP, Washington.

When researchers from RoperASW, New York, surveyed 1,500 U.S. residents age 45 and older for AARP in December 2002 and January 2003, they found that only 46% of the participants remembered seeing the privacy notices that give them a chance to opt out of financial services companies’ arrangements for sharing personal financial information with affiliates.

Fifty-five percent of the older consumers who remembered getting the notices said they did not opt out of information-sharing arrangements.

Thirty-four percent of the consumers who did not opt out said they did not know how to do so, and 25% said they did not think responding to the notice would stop companies from sharing information. Ten percent of the consumers said they did not want to pay the postage needed to respond.

But 16% of the consumers said they did not opt out because they “want to continue receiving offers from affiliated companies,” AARP says.

RoperASW researchers also asked consumers about topics such as investment choices and use of important financial documents.

The researchers found, for example, that 60% of the participants said they were investing in their companies’ retirement plans, up from 58% in 1999. But only 14% of the older consumers said they owned corporate bonds, down from 27% in 1999.

The researchers also found that only 59% of the older consumers surveyed had wills.

AARP has posted a link to a copy of the report at http://research.aarp.org/consume/cons_exp.html