- Baby boomers were born in the prosperous years following World War II.
- As they age, they are now facing financial, health, and economic challenges.
- Some of their most pressing problems are saving enough for retirement and caring for elderly parents.
- Baby Boomers are facing a slew of challenges.
- Boomers, or those born from the 1940s to the 1960s, grew up during the prosperous post-WWII years. But as they inch closer to retirement, a slew of financial, health, and economic challenges are starting to plague many in the generation.
Though people say they’re happiest when they get older, many baby boomers feel pressured to work longer to support themselves or, if unable to work, are worried about outliving their savings.
Not only do boomers have to think about their own retirement plans, they also have to care for their elderly parents — which can have an emotional cost in addition to the financial cost.
Boomers might be thinking about or currently paying their parents’ medical bills, nursing homes, or live-in nurses, or even considering having their parents live with them as they get older.
Just like boomers need to make plans for their parents, they will also need to figure out who will be taking care of them as they get older.
This might involve figuring out plans with their children, or saving enough money for medical bills or even a nurse.
The oldest boomers are in their early 70s today. For some, current health issues get in the way of planning for retirement.
Boomers will enter their senior years with “higher rates of obesity and diabetes and lower rates of very good or excellent health status, putting significant strain on our healthcare system,” a 2016 United Health Foundation study of the health of senior Americans found.
Not only are some boomers facing health issues, but they are also seeing rising healthcare costs.
Healthcare costs have risen by significantly more than costs for everything else in the United States over the last several decades, which is illustrated in the chart above.
Just 23% of baby boomers think that their savings will last through retirement or that they have done a good job preparing for retirement, according to a survey by the Insured Retirement Institute, a trade association for the retirement industry, from earlier this year.
Only 54% had any retirement savings at all, and only 40% had tried to calculate how much money they would need to retire.
Some older Americans are working around the problem of not having enough savings by staying employed far into their 70s, at least in part-time positions. But working longer is not a realistic option for every person.
Physically demanding jobs are often difficult for older workers, and learning a new skill could be a difficult challenge.
For those who lose their job at an older age, it is not always easy or financially possible to learn new skills or return to school. This trend is especially problematic for boomers who are not yet of retirement age.
Since baby boomers are living longer, people who plan to retire in their mid-60s to early 70s need to have enough money saved up for a decade or two more than they might have in the past.