Boomer Retirement: Pig in a Python?

ss-pictureWith some baby boomers turning 70 in 2016, there will be additional strain on Social Security, Medicare, public programs and private services. Will the US be up to the task of supporting the needs of a growing number of seniors and elderly? The U.S. Census Bureau projects that those 65 and older will account for 74 million people by 2030. This population will be more than double that of today’s numbers. We all need to understand the fairly grim prospects for the baby boomer generation and explore how growth in this demographic will test the nation’s financial resources going forward.

 

Going Forward

Ken Dychtwald, psychologist and gerontologist at Age Wave (the world’s leader in understanding the effects of an aging population on the marketplace, the workplace and our lives) said:

“It is time to move aging and longevity to the political main stage. This demographic transformation will create exciting family, lifestyle, social contribution and marketplace opportunities as well as unprecedented medical, fiscal and intergenerational challenges.”

A 2015 Government Accountability Office report reveals some of these coming challenges, which include:

  • No retirement savings in approximately half of households that are 55 and over;
  • A median amount of $104,000 savings in the remaining half; and
  • A retirement savings of $500,000+ in only 10 percent of households.

Not only will there be a larger group of individuals 55 and over, but the nation will need to contend with a poorer aging population. Some retirees may decide to get involved in the new sharing economy, such as hosting rooms on Airbnb or working as an Uber driver. Others may tap into home equity to provide additional income. However, not enough about this significant concern is being discussed by our politicians—for many, Social Security will be their primary source of income. Currently, without intervention, there will not be sufficient revenue to pay fully for promised benefits. At some point, most will experience a 21 percent cut in benefits if things continue as is until 2034.

Understand Other Age-Related Issues

Mr. Dychtwald also shared additional issues that will impact aging-populations. In paraphrasing, he said that Alzheimer’s and related dementias now afflict one in two people over age 85, and it has become the nation’s scariest disease. Its sufferers are anticipated to grow from 5+ million today to 15+ million as boomers age by 2050. But for every dollar currently spent on Alzheimer’s care, less than half a cent is being spent on innovative scientific research.

In addition, there is a significant lack of geriatricians and 97 percent of medical students in the U.S. do not take any courses in geriatrics. There are currently less than 5,000 geriatricians to serve the needs of aging adults. Aging populations need both the financial resources and sound medical care to attend to their changing needs. Obviously, an investment into this area has been overlooked and requires immediate attention.

Get Sound Advice

Are you prepared? Boomers that plan for the future using an independent, certified financial planner can take the steps necessary to enjoy retirement in comfort. Much needs to be done nationwide to provide for the growing numbers of baby boomers now and in the future.

Contact me today at 800-678-1078 to review your specific needs and understand what you need to do to establish a secure financial future.

 

 

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