The Baby Boomers are aging and it is critically important that we understand the approaching New Era. The Baby Boomer generation was born between 1946 and 1964. With an average of 4 Million born per year, the total is about 78 million Americans. They grew up with Elvis, the Beatles and Disco. They experienced Vietnam, Civil Rights, Equal Rights and Freedom. Now, they are approaching retirement. The first wave turned 65 in 2011. They all will turn 65 between 2011 and 2029.
With life expectancy in America being 75 for men and 80 for women, the majority of baby boomers will die between 2026 and 2044. As our Boomer generation is entering into this stage, it is also important to understand other statistics.
Five Statistics about American Baby Boomers that will Shock You:
1. 40% of Americans do not contribute to a voluntary Retirement Savings Plan nor do they have a Traditional Pension Plan(Employer Funded). This is primarily due to the fact that since the Reagan years, the majority of Businesses no longer provide the Traditional Pension Plan. Instead they offer voluntary retirement savings plans. Additionally, 50% of those with voluntary Retirement Savings Plan access (borrow/withdraw) and often deplete these funds prior to retirement.
2. 40 - 50% of people currently on Social Security rely ENTIRELY on their social security payments as their SOLE income.
3. 70 - 75% of Americans today start claiming social security at 62, the earliest moment they are eligible, many because they do not have any other income.
4. 25 - 40% of Boomers SAY they are postponing their retirement and plan on continuing to work "until they drop" because they do not want to rely on social security as their sole means of income.
5. Studies indicate that after age 65, those that retire at 55 have a 40% higher risk of death than their counterparts that retire at 65.
Illness After Retirement and Healthcare:
Let's think about these numbers. When you retire, most people only have about 10 - 15 years left to live. When you stop working, you are more likely to become ill and require healthcare. The top 5 causes of death of the elderly in America are:
1.Heart Disease 2.Cancer 3.Lower Respiratory Disease 4.Diabetes 5.Alzheimers
Hospitalizations of the elderly for these illnesses are extensive and costly.
Look at the chart. From 2020 - 2040, we will have massive numbers of retired Baby Boomers who will rely entirely upon Social Security as their primary source of income. Many/most of these retirees will experience chronic illnesses, particularly the Top 5 illnesses listed. Who will care for these impoverished, ill, elderly Americans? Many will not be able to take care of themselves. We only have about 10 years to think about this before we suffer the severe impact of this crisis.
In 2012, we are at a Crossroads. The Republicans have already announced their plan. However, there is another choice:
1. The Republican Choice - Hysteria: We can Cut, Cut, Cut. We can CUT Social Security and we can CUT Medicare as the Republicans are advocating. We can let the Baby Boomer retirees fend for themselves and ship them off to ill-equipped "old folks homes" as we did before and during the Big Depression, prior to Social Security and Medicare.
- or -
2. The Better Choice - A Plan for a Better Tomorrow: Let's HONOR our Seniors!
We cannot allow the Republican scare tactics to drive us into a deeper hole in the future. What we can do is think about the needs of our elderly. Within the next few years, we are going to face severe Labor shortages. We need to refocus on Education in our Country and provide incentives for those that major in the needed jobs of tomorrow. Additionally, instead of allowing restrictionists to DRIVE OFF FUTURE IMMIGRANTS, we need to figure out how to increase the number of new immigrants we are going to need to staff the jobs of tomorrow.
AMERICAN JOBS NEEDED from 2020 - 2050:
. Healthcare: Hospital workers, Doctors, Nurses, Home Care, Hospice; Hospital Equipment; Administration; Food Service
. Pharmaceuticals: Pharmacists, Product & Development, Production
. Insurance: Administration, Sales, Service
. Investment, Retirement Wealth Management: Administration, Sales, Service
. Housing: Retirement Homes; Apartments for the elderly
. Energy: since more people will be living (illness)/working from home
. Innovation: Product Development for items critical to the elderly
. Call Center Workers for each of these industries
. Small Businesses specializing in care for the elderly
(There will be incredible opportunities for entrepreneurs)
These jobs cannot be outsourced. These jobs will remain in the U.S. because the elderly live here. We also must remember: these on-shore American jobs will all pay Income Taxes and Social Security taxes. They will replenish the funds where they are needed most. These jobs will create more jobs. There will be plenty of room for Innovation, Product Development, Customer Service and Manufacturing too. There will be plenty of sources for new income. The Boomer Retirement Era will move us out of our current economic crisis and into a new stage of prosperity for America. That is, if we understand what our future holds in store for us and plan for the needs of our Seniors. We cannot cut them off from their Social Security and Medicare. Instead, we should plan for a better future for all of us as we head into a brighter tomorrow.
President Obama, I ask you to deliver this message to the American Public. Help us all understand what the future holds in store for us and help us understand that TOGETHER we will all prepare ourselves for a better tomorrow!
(Reprint from January, 15, 2012)