As the Baby Boomer generation ages, it’s important to start planning for the future. Whether this is determining they need to start receiving home care services or even that they would prefer to live in an assisted living or independent living facility, a plan needs to be created. This is a generation that has collectively made $3.7 trillion in their lifetime, so the question remains, where will it go?
Catey Hill wrote an article entitled “10 Things Baby Boomers Won’t Say” to illustrate the unwritten expectations of the boomer generation. The overarching theme of the story was that what happens in the lives of our parents will be based primarily on what they want to do.
While some of these statistics may be unsettling, according to Miss Hill, these are the facts:
1. Less than half of millionaire boomers say leaving money for their kids is a priority. They would rather spend it on themselves and travel in their waning years.
2. The boomers are expected to live longer than any previous generations, and they expect to stay at home throughout their senior years. Children of this generation should expect to support their parents while spending roughly $6,000-$10,000 on them annually. A great way to keep older adults safely at home is with the help of a qualified caregiver from a reputable home care agency. In contrast it will require $60,000-$100,000 to put your parents in a nursing home.
3. 27% of Americans in their 50s say they did not save for retirement because they had children. They equate this to paying for their schooling and other necessities. Even if a parent cannot afford it, they feel their children deserve the financial support needed to attend college.
4. Americans over 50 “can’t face [the] reality” of post retirement life. Health deterioration is expected, but only 13% of pre-retirees expect their health to get worse in retirement.
5. “The divorce rate for people over 50 has double in the past 20 years.” It is estimated that in 2030 more than 400,000 couples will get a divorce after the age of 50.
6. Boomers are the least happy of all age groups. When asked to rate their happiness on a scale of one to ten, an average score of 6.2 was reached.
7. Nearly one out of every three 50-59 year old Americans is obese. Obesity at a young age means higher medical bills as older adults age.
8. “Boomers are drinking and drugging their way into old age at a rate much higher than their parents’ generation. Between 1992 and 2008, the proportion of substance abuse treatment admissions involving Americans 50 and older nearly doubled, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”
9. The national debt is expected to grow as the boomer generation begins to receive social security and Medicaid.
10. Anti-aging products are expected to yield a $114 billion profit in 2014. 55% of all surgical procedures were done to people aged 40 and up.
While this information could potentially paint a bleak picture of the next ten to twenty years, what is important to take away from this is that the comfort and happiness of the boomer generation is largely dependent on younger generations. It is the duty of the adult children to provide care for their parents and loved ones. Continue to integrate your loved ones into your daily lives rather than focusing solely on your own life.
Work hard and save your money so that you are able to help support your parents as they did for you growing up. Through marital, monetary and health issues there can always be one constant for older adults: the intrinsic worth of having raised a child.
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