The Baby Boomer Generation are babies no more! From Davy Crockett and Leave it to Beaver, to Dick Clark, the Beatles and Motown, they are now heading to Notown.
Broke, busted, overweight, how many will live with their children, die at home alone or end up as inmates in nursing homes?
How many of the boomers will live long healthy, wealthy and wise lives?
While The Bye Bye Boomer trend shines a bright light on the dismal state many seniors find themselves in… broke, sick, depressed and dependent, for those that accentuate the positive and reverse the negatives – although the end is growing near and there are always the wild cards of ups and downs that can disrupt the best laid plans – the on-trend boomers will pass on in peace and harmony.
DOWN AND OUT
Across the globe, the negative financial difficulties many boomers are now facing have steadily evolved since the Panic of ’08. When the Great Recession hit, large numbers of boomers lost their homes, their savings and many were laid off prematurely from their life-long careers … the sustained downward trending is intensifying and expanding well beyond personal finances to myriad quality of life issues.
As with all age groups there are several health and wealth layers. For Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, who once helped shape popular culture, societal norms and advance social change, while many are living well in over 55 plus-senior communities – having retired with pensions, benefits and investments – many more are facing tough, and often impossible, choices. They’re grappling with financial, health, emotional and personal hardships unimagined in their idealistic youth.
Most notable, U.S. studies show that only about half of boomers entering retirement age have any savings at all and three quarters of retirees are underfunded, with not enough money to make ends meet.
Unlike their parents’ generation, many of whom retired at around 65 years of age or earlier, because so many boomers are cash strapped, today’s seniors have to keep working. In the U.S., more than 9 million senior citizens over the age of 70 are in the work force, the vast majority of them in service jobs.
In fact, 23 percent of men and about 15 percent of women ages 65 and older are still in the labor force, and these levels are projected to rise to 27 percent and 20 percent respectively by 2020.
Moreover, many others in that age group are not able to work because a majority of available positions require some level of physical ability seniors can’t attain…like standing on their feet for hours as cashiers, fast food workers and housekeeping attendants.
Unable to supplement their income, bankruptcy rates among seniors are skyrocketing, growing at a rate that outpaces by at least two-to-one every other age group. More than 100,000 of the 800,000 annual bankruptcy filings are from households headed by seniors in the U.S.
DOING MORE WITH LESS
A study by Pew Research Center found that 52 percent of U.S. citizens in their 60s are either financially supporting a parent or being supported by their offspring.
These financial conditions have generated strong growth in the co-habitation trend, in which some 32 percent of all adults who share households are over the age of 70. Beyond just two boomers sharing a house or apartment, we forecast shared household arrangements in which numerous boomers will be living under one roof: Boarding Houses 2.0.
UNHEALTHY BODY MEANS UNHEALTHY FINANCES
Adding to the dismal plight of many Boomers is the dawn of an unprecedented era of chronic poor health. Among the conditions that are rising at historic rates are: diabetes, heart failure, cancer, circulatory conditions, kidney and liver diseases and related illnesses.
Today, more than 25 percent of Americans over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with diabetes. Astoundingly, some 70 percent of boomers are overweight, and nearly 40 percent are clinically obese.
As a result, they will be far more dependent on others and government subsidies to survive. In fact, in the U.S., public health care expenses are expected to rise nearly six percent this year as a direct result of the increased spending necessary to cover the escalating number of boomers enrolling in Medicare health insurance programs.
DEAF, BLIND AND OUT OF THEIR MIND
Latest estimates project that 1 in 10 people older than 65 have developed features of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. This is a progressive, irreversible, non-curable disease that will continue to worsen despite the best medical care.
And as their condition declines, they will need greater supervision and assistance. Dementia disorders will further tax already overburdened health care systems worldwide, most of which are ill equipped to provide medical care for these patients. TJ
The world is not prepared for the impact the Bye, Bye Boomers trend is about to unleash.
The golden years for millions of seniors in 2019 will be marked more by how to survive rather than how to thrive. As noted, the data in virtually every area that determines quality of life for seniors is negative and trending more negative.
And the institutions and legacy support systems designed to help alleviate the impact of these trends is woefully inadequate.
Bye Bye Boomer is a macro, powerful trend. How seniors will house, feed and heal themselves are the three categories that demand creative, broad thinking.
From shared living options, such as co-housing, which is a newly emerging trend, to affordable, effective whole health healing alternatives that can improve the lifestyle of Golden Agers, there are numerous golden opportunities for Ontrendpreneurs®.