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article imageExperts say boomers face bleak future

By Carol Forsloff     Feb 10, 2010 in Health
In the midst of financial uncertainty, there's one thing about which experts agree. The future for baby boomers seems bleak and some say the crisis is now.
Much of that belief comes during an economy that may take years, if not decades, to recover, experts say. Many people lost money in the downturn of the stock and real estate markets. They may never recover financially from it. Seniors even now struggle with finding resources financially to pay for their care, and that came before the recent downturn of the economy. The problem is serious enough boomers must really prepare, experts say. Robert Precher, in the Market Oracle, maintains the baby boomer crisis is now. But is that supported by the evidence?
The downturn in real estate , which by 1998 had reached $2 trillion, impacts baby boomers more than young adults.. Baby boomers have less time than other groups to make up their losses. Their biggest asset, their home, is no longer worth as much as it was, which means less money if has to be sold. And many seniors are forced to sell homes when they move into independent living centers during serious declining years. The home might not have enough value to help seniors when they need it most.
The costs of health care are rising, which some people say might bankrupt the country, experts say, as in the New England Journal of Medicine. This means the country might have to choose between caring for its old or its children in some very important ways. Most people in retirement centers are white. Those who care for them, however, are often the underclass, many non-white, creating a culture within senior group residences where divisions of culture and race take place. Overworked care workers are often minority women with little time for chat. So seniors without family resources might be left to fend for themselves. Furthermore the the lack of understanding among racial and ethnic groups that comes from a lifetime of separateness can negatively impact quality care. These issues are already being discussed by those in the business of caring for seniors right now.
Add to all this, the growing epidemic of diabetes, the fact that many baby boomers have gone undiagnosed for years; and as folks age, now more than ever, the threat of diabetes and its complications, as well as other diseases, continues to grow. Costs are one thing, but the ability to take care of oneself quite another. Diabetes impacts physical capacities with its side effects of blindness, amputation and other infirmities that impact one's ability to live alone.
Often discussions about senior care leave out a critical fact. It was smart in the 70's to stay single; it was the "in" thing to be sexually free. Many women didn't have children, while others the long wait for a family meant infertility since doctors say older women have greater problems than young women have in getting pregnant . Some women chose not to have children; some women waited too long. The sum of the problem is this: many baby boomers, said to be in great numbers, have no children to care for them in their advancing years, said to be particularly a problem, according to experts who anticipate some of the problems baby boomers will face with their care, especially in their later years, by 2030. With economic and social pressures growing in senior care facilities, experts declare some solution has to be found. And this comes at a time when those boomers have less money to spend for their care.
It's a frightening prospect, but one baby boomer folks need to know, according to those who help people plan their finances and those who care for aging people now.. Those who sound the alert to the problem facing baby boomers, however, maintain there are ways baby boomers can plan for their future security. This is by saving, by listening to the pulse of the economy, by downsizing and by recognizing not having it all right now might mean having nothing at all in the future, when the props and foundations, protecting some elderly folk now, might be gone.
More about Independent living, Baby boomers, Costs medical care
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